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Goodhue County 






W. M. Sweney, M. D.; Jens K. Grondahl; C. A. Rasmussen; Julius 

Boraas, M. L.; F. W. Kalfahs; Edward W. Schmidt, M. A.; 

Mrs. Julia B. Nelson; E. Norelius, D. D.; George C. 

Wellner, M. D.; John C. Applegate; Ralph W. 

Holmes; Dwight C. Pierce; Henry Hal- 

vorson; Rev. James H. Gaughan; 

Henry R. Cobb; Edgar F. 

Davis and many others 

H. C. COOPER, JR., & CO. 






B 1946 L 










It is with a feeling of considerable pride and pleasure that the 
publishers present this history for the approval of the people of 
Goodhue county. The undertaking has not been an easy one and 
the difficulties have been many, so many indeed that this work 
would not have been possible without the liberal assistance of 
the citizens of the county. The chief contributors have given 
freely of their time and talent ; business men. church officials, fra- 
ternity and association officers, manufacturers, professional men 
and bankers, often at great personal sacrifice, have laid aside 
their regular duties to write of their communities and special in- 
terests; educators have written of the schools, and men and 
women of all walks of life have willingly given all the information 
at their command regarding themselves, their families, their inter- 
ests and their localities. To all of these the readers of this work 
owe a lasting debt of gratitude and to each and every one the 
publishers extend their heartfelt thanks. 

The principal contributors are mentioned on the title page. Of 
these. W, M. Sweney, M. D.. Jens K. Grondahl, C. A. Rasmussen, 
Julius Boraas, M. L., George C. Wellner, M. D., and others, aside 
from contributing chapters have generously given assistance in 
the general construction of the book. Many others have offered 
suggestions and some contributions have been made by those to 
whom credit is not given either in the body of the book or on 
the title page. The writings left by Col. William Colvill, Col. 
Hans Mattson, S. J. Willard, Dr. W. W. Sweney, Judge E. T. 
"Wilder and others, have been freely drawn upon. 

In planning for this work the publishers hoped to prepare a 
narrative which should tell the story of this rich and prosperous 
county from the time when it first became a geologic reality, 
through the years when the first explorers pushed their way up 
the river and into the wilderness, down to the present time when 
cities and villages dot the landscape and comfortable homes and 
fertile farms are seen on nearly every quarter section. 

In handling the vast amount of material gathered for this 
work it has been the aim of the entire staff to select such matter 
as is authentic, reliable and interesting. Doubtless facts have 
been included that many will deem of little moment, but these 
same facts to others may be of the deepest import. It may be, 
also, that some facts have been omitted that many of the readers 
would like to see included. To such readers we can only say that 
to publish every incident of the life of the county would be to 
issue a work of many volumes, and in choosing such material as 
would come within the limits of one volume, we believe that the 



matter selected is that which will prove of greatest interest to the 
greatest number of readers, and also that which is most worthy 
of being handed down to future generations, who in this volume, 
in far distant years may read of their large-souled, rugged-bodied 
ancestors and predecessors who gave up the settled peace of older 
communities to brave the rigors of pioneer endeavor. 

A few omissions may be due to the dereliction of some of the 
people of this county themselves, as in some instances, fortunately 
few, repeated requests for information has met with no response. 
In such cases, information gathered from other sources, though 
authentic, may have lacked copious detail. 

In spelling, it has been the endeavor of the publishers to follow 
the generally accepted forms, with the exception of the word 
"Wacoota," in which case the publishers have chosen to follow 
the English spelling rather than the French rendition of 
" Wacouta." 

Before passing hasty judgment on apparent errors, one should 
consider carefully, not relying on tradition or memory. In 
many cases we have found that persons' memories are faulty 
and tradition erronious. when measured by the standard of of- 
ficial records, even in the case of comparatively recent events, 
while in many instances families are under the impression that 
their forebears arrived in the county long before it was possible 
for them to do so. In such cases, we have found it advisable to 
follow the records. Ah instance of faulty tradition is the some- 
what extensively accepted story that Barn Bluff is named from 
a man named Barnes when as a matter of fact Barn is merely 
the English form of La Grange, the cognomen applied to the 
bluff by the earliest French explorers on account of its fancied 
resemblance to the common type of small barn in the old coun- 
try. The name Barn is used by Pike in 1806, long before any 
man named Barnes could have settled at its base. 

The publishers are indebted to the files of the Red Wing "Re- 
publican," which have been carefully perused and liberally 
copied; to the county, village and city, records, and to the min- 
utes of various corporations and societies. In this connection it 
is but just that thanks should be extended to those courteous 
gentlemen who have these records, files and books in charge and 
who have freely assisted the editors in their researches. Other 
books consulted and in many instances quoted are : The History 
of Goodhue County, published in 1879; J. W. Hancock's History 
of Goodhue County: W. H. Mitchell's Geographical and Statis- 
tical Sketch of the Past and Present of Goodhue County; His- 
tory of St. Paul and Ramsay County by J. Fletcher Williams ; the 
various publications of the Minnesota Historical Society; the 
Legislative Manual of the State of Minnesota; The History of 
Minnesota, by Edward W. Neill; Minnesota in Three Centuries, 
by L. F. Hubbard. William P. Murray, James H. Baker and 
Warren Upham; The History of Scandinavians in the United 
States, by 0. N. Nelson; The Geological and Natural History 
Survey of Minnesota, by N. H. Winchell, assisted by Warren 
Upham; The Memoirs of Explorations in the Basin of the Mis- 
sissippi, by J. V. Brower; The Norsemen in America, by Martin 
Ulvestad; also various other standard historical, reference and 
biographical works, as well as many original manuscripts. . 


The biographies have all been gathered with care from those 
most interested, and with a few exceptions have been revised and 
corrected by the subject of the biography or by a relative or 
friend. This, however, refers to the dates, and sequence of 
events, all personal estimates being the work of the editors and 
inserted in biographies only after consultation with other mem- 
bers of the staff. 

That this history is faultless we do not presume; it is prob- 
ably not within the power of man to arrange a work of this 
kind without mistakes of one sort or another; that it will meet 
with the unqualified approval of all, we dare not expect, but we 
trust that the merits of the history will overbalance any short- 
comings that may be discovered. 

. Our association with the people of Goodhue county has been 
a most pleasant one. We have conscientiously performed our 
task and in placing the history in the hands of those whom it 
most concerns our hope is that we have done our work well. 

H. C. COOPER, JR., & CO. 




Location — Area — Water Courses — Surface Features — Ancient River Beds — 
Elevations — Soil — Forest Trees — Artesian Wells — Sources of Wealth — 
Native Animals 1 



Formation of the Earth — Cooling of the Crust — The Various Periods as 
Outlined by Scholars — Appearance of Vegetation — First Animal Life 
— Geologic* Formations of Goodhue County — Influence of These Dis- 
tance Periods on Modern Existence 11 



The First Human Inhabitants of Goodhue County — Indications That They 
Were Indians — Location and Shape of the Mounds — Their Purpose — 
What Excavation Has Revealed — Fort Sweney — Stone Cairns — The 
Lowland Mounds — Reign of the Sioux — By Edward W. Schmidt 18 



Possession by Indians — The Dakota? — Traditions and Opinions — Col. Col- 
vill's Views — Origin of Name '-Rd \\ ,'i ; — The Raidssjn- 
Groseillers Allegations — No Proof That These Men Ever Saw Goodhue 
County — Hennepin Lands at Red Wing's Village — Duluth Passes the 
Village — LeSueur at Prairie Island — Fort Beauharnois and Its Suc- 
cessors- — Carver Passes Through Wisconsin Channel — Pike and His 
Narrative — Meets Red Wing and Calls Him by His English Name — 
Leavenworth — First Steamers — Denton and Gavin — Aiton and Han- 
cock — Tribute to Rev. Hancock — Early Schooling — The Pioneers 
Arrive— By Dr. W. M. Sweney 33 



Landing of Count Frontenac — Building of Fort Beauharnois by Du 
Boucher in 1727 — Work of the Jesuits — Disastrous Freshets — Capture 
of Father Guingas — Linctot's Stockade — St. Pierre and His Meeting 
With Washington — Abandonment of Stockade — Marin's Fort in 1750 
— Final Evacuation by the French — Modern Evidences 6S 



French and English Claims — Spanish Rule— The Louisiana Purchase — A 
Part of Louisiana Territory — Under Successive Jurisdiction of Mis- 
souri. Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa — No Man's Land — General 
Sibley's Duties — Minnesota a Territory — In Statehood Days— A Full- 
Fledged County 






Prairie du Chien in 1825— Second Treaty in 1830— Treaty of 1837— Doty 
Treaty in 1841 — Treaty of Mendota in 1851 — Land Open to Settle- 
ment — Prairie Island Indians 74 



Half-Breed Tract — The Location and Purpose — Issue of Scrip — Difficulties 
Which Ensued — Threats ami Recourse to Washington Finally Settle 
the Matter — Spirit Lake Massacre — Investigation by Red Wing Men — 
Uprising of 1862 90 



Boundary Lines Given — First Election — "Judge" Young and His Ballot 
Box — Imported Yoters — County Officers Appointed — First Session of 
Board — Court House Resolution — School Districts — A Few Early Ses- 
sions — Court House Contract — 1849-1858 97 



An Experiment in County Government — Members of First Board of Super- 
visors — Two Chairmen — Party Feeling High — Sheriff Preserves Order 
— Another Version — Court House Trouble — Meeting of Second Board 
— Resumption of County Commissioner System — History of Court 
House — ( lounty Poor Farm — Political History 110 



Denton and Gavin — Aiton and Hancock — Bush, Bullard, Post, Snow and 
Gould — Potter, Young and Day — Sweney, Freeborn and McGinnis — 
Friendliness of the Indians — First Winter — Arrival of the Scandi- 
navians — Digging Potatoes — Fishing in Stream and River — A Sporting 
Clergyman — Some of the Indian Braves — Farming in the Old Indian 
Cornfield — Squaws as Farmhands 120 



Organization ami Original Names — Belle Creek — Belvidere — Burnside — 

Cherry Grove — Central Point — Early Settlement 142 



First Settlement — Platting the Yillage — Village and City Incorporated — 
Water Power and Mills — Fraternities — Hotels — Newspaper — Modern 
Cannon Falls— Industries — Business Houses — Schools — Commercial 
Club — Banks — Cannon Falls Township — Early History — Veterans of 
the War 159 




Featherstone — Florence — Frontenac — Goodhue Township and Village — 
Advantages and Growth — Holden — Kenyon Township and Village — 
Modern Progress — Leon — Minneola 169 



Pine Island Township and Village — Progres^iv" and Prosperous — Roscoe — 
Stanton — V a s a — Wacoota — Wanamingo — Wanamingo Village — 
Warsaw — Dennisou Village — Welch 206 



Zumbrota Village — Its Situation and Advantages — Modern Zumbrota — 
Water, Sewer and Public Halls — Fire Department — Industries — Banks 
— Hotels- — Mills and Klevators — Creamery — Fraternities — Village His- 
tory and Officers — T. P. Kellett 's Speech — Military Company — Village 
Schools — Public Library — Zumbrota Township — Township Officers 
Since Early Days — Soldiers from This Township 234 



First School Taught — First District Organized — Anecdotes of the Early 
Days — Statistics — Summer Schools — Library Association — High 
Schools — Church Schools — City Superintendents — County Superin- 
tendents — Sunday School Work — Hamline University — Red Wing 
Seminary- — Villa Marie — Lutheran Ladies' Seminary — Orphans' Home 
— State Training School — Business Colleges — By Prof. Julius Boraas. 271 



Red Wing — First Post Master — Stage Coach Days — Growth and Progress- 
Other County Officers — Discontinued County Officers — New Federal 
Building— Statistics 298 



His Proud Achievements — His Solemn Oath — His Ethics — The True Physi- 
cian — His Reward — His Delicate Relation to the Human Family — His 
Inventions and Discoveries Free Gifts — The Pioneer Doctor — His 
Character — His Services — His Limitations — The March of Medicine — 
Biographies — A Roll of Honor — The Goodhue County Medical Society 
— The Twentieth Century — Preventive Medicine — The Physician as an 
Educator— By George C. Wellner, M. D 315 



Discovery of America — Modern Norwegian Immigration — Mathias Peder- 
sen Ringdahl — Early Settlers — Anecdotes — Officeholders — Newspapers 
— Norwegians as Pioneers — Their Present Status 333 




Early Colonies — Coming to Minnesota — Mattson, Willard and Norelius — 
Story of the Early Swedes Told by Dr. Norelius — The Churches at 
Eed Wing and Yasa — Keminiscences by Early Settlers — Character- 
istics of the Swedes 340 



Origin of Race — Colonial Germans — Prominent Teutons — Germans in Good- 
hue County — Early Settlers in Various Townships — German Soldiers — 
German Officeholders — St. John's Hospital and Training School — 
German Industries — German Churches — Written by Prof. P. W. 
Kalf ahs 365 



Government Records of Those Who Took Claims in Goodhue County Be- 
fore 1858 — A List of Hardy Pioneers, Nearly All of Whom Are Now 
Dead — The Year and Month in Which They Came and the Section, 
Township and Range in Which They Settled — Many of Their Claims 
Still in the Possession of Their Families 384 



Religious Influence — Norwegian Lutheran — Norwegian Methodist — 
Swedish Lutheran — English Lutheran — Swedish Mission — German 
Churches — German Methodism — Swedish Methodists — Roman Catholic 
— Congregational — Presbyterian — Episcopal Baptis; — Swedish Baptist. 404 



Address by Judge Wilder — Office Experiences — A New Setting to an Old 
Tale— Pleasures of the Early Days— On Thin Ice— C. J. F. Smith's 
Adventures — His Arrival — An Early Journey — Writings of the Rev. 
J. W. Hancock — Indians and Whisky — Difficulties of Travel — A Canoe 
Trip on Land — The Mysterious Wild Girl— Oil Wells in Red Wing — 
Coal and Gold Also Found 458 



List of Men Who Have Represented Goodhue County at St. Paul Since 
Territorial Days — List of County Officers — Men From This County 
Who Have Occupied Positions, of Higher Trust and Honor — Popula- 
tion of the County by Nationality and Occupation, With List of 
Growth Since the Earliest Census 478 



Terrible Cyclone — Vnsa the Greatest Sufferer—" Sea Wing" Disaster — 
Lis* of Those Who Perished — The Survivors — Terrible Blow to the 
Whole Countv — ' ' Galena ' ' Burned at the Levee in Red Wing — 
Shooting of Chief Daily and Officer Peterson — Red Wing Fires in By- 
gone Days 490 




First War Meeting — Colonel Colvil] 'First Man to Enlist — Mustering in of 
First Companies- — First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, 
Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Volunteer Infantry — First, Second, Braekett's 
and Independent Cavalry — Heavy Artillery — Light Artillery — Colonel 
Hubbard's Bravery — Colonel Coivill's Charge — Spanish-American War 
— History of Local Company — Complete Roster of Soldiers and Offi- 
cers from Goodhue County in the Philippines 507 



Origin of the Village — First Settlement — Rev. Hancock's Arrival — The 
Early Settlers — Claim Hunters — Incidents of Village Life — Great 
Events of Those Days — Burning the Indian Tepees — First Farming — - 
First Stores — First Churches — Pioneer Politics — Principal Events from 
1852 to 1859 — Business Directory Published in 1869 — Poem by Julia 
B. Nelson 529 



Principal Events in the Government of Red Wing Since Its Incorpora- 
tion — List of Mayors, Aldermen and Other Officers — Railroads, Tele- 
graph, Street Car and Other Franchises — Sewerage System — Water 
Works — Fire Department — Public Buildings — Bonds and Improve- 
ments — Memorials — Red Wing Township — Veterans 550 



Its Many Advantages — Desirability as a Home City — The Carnegie- 
Lawther Library — T. B. Sheldon Memorial Auditorium — Red Wing 
Civic League — Fire Department — Water Works — Ferries — Wagon 
Bridge — Associations and Clubs — Banks and Banking- — Business and 
Professional — Red Wing Fraternities 579 



Busy Manufacturing Plants That Furnish the Foundation for Red Wing's 
Prosperity — Pottery and Sewer Pipe Making — Malting Houses — Shoes 
and Shoe Pacs — Hats — Furniture — Iron Works — Advertising Novelties 
— Lighting Facilities — Milling Concerns — Lime Burning — Linseed 
Products — Sand — Telephones — Job Printing — Utilizing the Forests — 
Brick Making — Other Concerns — Edited by Jens K. Grondahl 616 




Its Advantages, Opportunities and Wealth — Some of- the Things Which 
Have Made It Famous — History of the Various Newspapers Which 
Have Been Published Here — Associations and Societies — Miscel- 
laneous 645 



Principal Events in the Careers of Pioneers Who Have Now Passed 
Aivmv — Biographies of Men Who Are Still Active in Business. Pro- 
fessional and Commercial Interests — Gathered with Care from Various 
Sources, Carefully Compiled and Submitted for Approval 666 

rjin n 


) k 





Location — Area — Water Courses — Surface Features — Ancient 
River Beds — Elevations — Soil — Forest Trees — Artesian Wells 
— Sources of Wealth — Native Animals. 

On its splendid course from Itasca to the Gulf, the mighty 
Mississippi passes no fairer land than that which it touches from 
Prairie Island to Central Point, where, guarded on the north by 
towering bluffs and broken here and there by picturesque valleys, 
Goodhue county stretches to the southward in undulating prairies. 
Unusually blessed by nature with deep soil and abundant natural 
resources, and endowed with a wealth of prehistoric and historic 
lore, it is a fitting home for the sturdy people who have here 
made their dwelling place. Hard-working, progressive and pros- 
perous, they have appreciated the gifts which nature has spread 
for them, and have added their own toil to the work of the ele- 
ments, making the county one of the garden spots of the earth. 
On the hills graze cattle and sheep, while the level lands respond 
to the efforts of the spring-time sower and planter with a wealth 
of harvest in the summer and autumn. On nearly every quarter 
section is reared a comfortable home and commodious barns, 
while from every hill top are visable the churches and schools 
wherein the people worship the Giver of all Gifts and educate 
their children. The county seat city is known for its progres- 
siveness in all parts of the world, and the busy villages and 
hamlets have had their share in the growth of the county by 
furnishing a shipping and trading point for the product of the 
farms. Thus blessed by God and beloved by man, the county 



today stands for all that is ideal in American life, and. from year 
to year is forging ahead to still wider influence and more extended 

Goodhue county is situated on the Mississippi river and Lake 
Pepin, and is bounded on the northwest by Dakota county, on the 
west by Rice county, on the south by Dodge county and a small 
portion of Olmsted county, and on the east and southeast by 
Wabasha county. Its Wisconsin neighbor is Pierce county. The 
population in 1905 was 31,628, and this has probably been 
increased by several thousand since that date. It is a large and 
important county, ranking among the first in the state in wealth. 
size, population, education, progressive]! ess and prosperity. It 
contains twenty-three townships and Red Wing, which is outside 
of any township jurisdiction. Its total area is 784.79 square 
miles, or 502,265.62 acres; the water area being only 20.21 square 
miles, or 12,936.06 acres. 

The surface waters of the county all reach the Mississippi 
river in an easterly or northeasterly course, descending from the 
height of 1,250 feel above the sea in Kenyon. to 665 feet in Lake 
Pepin, a drop of nearly 600 feet. The chief of these tributary 
streams are the Cannon, with its southern arm. the Little Cannon, 
and the north and north-middle branches of the Zumbro. Belle 
creek, another branch of the Cannon river, occupies an important 
valley, running northward from near the center of the county. 
Spring creel;. Hay creek and Wells creek, though not large 
streams, are important agents in defining the topography of the 
county, and have subterranean sources of supply which keep 
thein at a nearly uniform stage of water and afford valuable 
water powers. These water powers have in the past been utilized 
to a greater or less extent, and at the present time afford the 
motive power for many mills. Their use in generating electricity 
has also been considered. 

The county has no lakes. There are a great many large 
springs issuing from the banks of the streams, giving clear, pure 
water, which are dependent on the impervious nature of the rocky 
strata. Some of the tributaries of Belle and of Wells creeks issue 
from the rock Avails of the valley, having size sufficient, in some 
instances, to afford available water power for machinery. 

The topography of the county has from time to time been 
made the subject of careful study. The high prairies in the cen- 
tral and southwestern portions present a strong contrast with the 
hilly tracts in the northern and eastern. The former are broad, 
undulating, and somewhat monotonous. The winds find no nat- 
ural obstacles, and the exposed traveler can retire to no sheltered 
nooks for protection. The latter are broken by frequent and 
abrupt hills, which rise, with some sheltering timber, from two to 

lllsroUY OF G00DH1 I. COUNT'S 3 

five hundred feet above the adjoining valleys. The transition v 
between these extremes is gradual, and is due to a variety of 
causes. Some of the deep valleys of the northeastern part of the 
county penetrate, in their uppermosl sources, far within the flat 
and monotonous areas of the county. Such are the valleys of the 
Little Cannon and of Belle Creek. The north fork of the Zumbro, 
which entirely crosses the county from west to east, in its southern 
portion, introduces an agreeable diversity of surface westward 
from Zumbrota, which otherwise would be one of mere open and 
nearly Level prairie. The north middle fork has the same effeel 
near the southern border of the county, about six miles further 
south. The townships of Tine Island. Roscoe, Cherry Grove, 
Keiiyon. the central portion of Holden, the northern half of 
Wanamingo and Minneola, and much of the area of Warsaw, 
Leon and Belle Creek, also some of Vasa, Peatherston and Good- 
hue, are included in this higher portion of undulating prairie. 
The uplands of the most elevated portions of the county are from 
1,150 to 1,250 feet above the sea. The streams in those portions 
are but little below thai area. They gradually work to lower and 
lower levels, becoming larger by springs and territories, until 
they reach the level of Lake Pepin, which is 662 feet above the 
sea. At the same time the uplands that immediately adjoin these 
streams, even The Mississippi valley itself, do not partake of this 
gradual slope toward the Mississippi. The Mississippi bluffs are 
from 1,000 to 1,100 feet above the sea. or only about 150 feet 
lower than the average elevation in the southwestern part of the 

In Stanton, Cannon Falls and Vasa, rounded or elongated 
knobs and ridges rise abruptly from the plains to tic height of 
about one hundred and fifty feet, and to a ceil a in extent the 
same features may be seen in Welch, Burnsicle, Red Wing, 
Featherston, Hay Creek and Florence. But in the latter town- 
ships the knolls are larger and higher. 

In those vastly remote ages, so remote that the passage of 
time since then can only be vaguely estimated and expressed in 
terms of thousands of years, when nature, by the exertion of her 
forces, was preparing the earth for the habitation of humankind, 
occurred a period known as the glacial epoch, by reason that a 
large part of the earth was covered with vast fields of solid ice,. 
many hundreds of feet deep. With the melting of this ice were 
formed vast seas and streams in which floated huge icebergs, 
composed both of stone and ice, which plowed out the valleys 
which are now dry land, and wrote their evidences in scratches 
upon the rocks, and gradually melting, left various deposits of 
mud and gravel in the turbulent waters. On the shrinkage of the 
high waters of the glacial epoch, numerous streams were dried. 


old channels were abandoned, and the hastening currents made 
deeper cuts in the gravel and loam, which they themselves had 
previously deposited there. The location of these old streams, 
some of which were dried up, or changed their courses thousands 
of years ago, forms an interesting subject for conjecture. Colonel 
"William Colvill during his lifetime, after long study, suggested 
the course of some of these old streams in the following words: 
"Hay creek, going upstream, carried one of these currents. The 
Trout brook, whose branches came down through those mag- 
nificent gorges, now followed by the roads leading up to Feath- 
erston, came at the old tannery, on to the ground now held by 
Hay creek. The bluffs below the tannery, on that side, are a con- 
tinuation of the Trout brook bluffs, and beyond the range of Hay 
creek at any time. At the then mouth of Trout brook, on the 
river, struck in the current, and soon broke across the narrow 
and low divide, into Hay creek, followed aloug its valley to the 
mill, Section 12, Featherston, near its then head, and broke over 
into the wide and deep valley which there comes down from 
Featherstone — pointing directly to the great bend of Hay creek. 
This bend was then a part of the main valley of "Wells creek, and 
the current then flowed down that, now dry, valley to AVells 
creek mill, on the present stream. With what eloquent tongues 
do the acrid cliffs and isolated peaks of that old dry valley speak. 
They seem to echo the thundering floods which in those days bat- 
tered their faces, and, like the gigantic bones of an old creation, 
to tell us the history of the past." 

Colonel Colvill conjectured, further, that the water of AVells 
creek was not then able to reach the Mississippi freely, but 
passed through some of the valleys now tributatory to it, south- 
ward into some of those that are tributatory to the Zumbro, 
mainly through, the valley of Skillman's brook, uniting with the 
Zumbro at Mazeppa. The disproportion between the size of the 
Zumbro valley and the drainage area which it now serves has 
been noted by geologists, and this hypothesis serves to account, 
possibly, for this irregularity. There is still observable by one 
passing southwesterly, a perceptible valley, running southeast- 
wardly, outlined on the west by the Trenton bluffs all the way 
from northeastern Vasa 4o southwestern Zumbrota. 

Another probable water course which is now abandoned was 
from Cannon Falls, northeastwardly. The observer is struck 
with the narrowness of the Cannon valley at once on passing 
Cannon Falls, as compared with the width of the low, flat valley, 
lying next north. It is probable that much of the water of the 
Cannon, in glacial times, passed north of the bluffs that lie next 
north of the village. Some of it re-entered the Cannon valley 
again about at the mouth of Belle creek, by way of Trout brook, 


and some of it passed northeastward to the Mississippi at Etter, 
the same place, where the Vermilion waters entered it. The 
descent of this northeastern flat to Etter is about one hundred 
feet for the uplands, but three or four hundred feet for the valley 
in which the waters were collected. 

The greatest recorded elevation in Goodhue county is on the 
line of the Chicago and Great Western, on Section 23, Kenyon, 
being 1,250 feet above the sea level; but large areas of several 
other townships, notably Cherry Grove, Roscoe, Holden, Wana- 
mingo, Leon and Belle Creek, would doubtless, if subjected to 
careful measurement, prove to have nearly, if not quite, the same 

The average elevation of the county, estimated from contour 
lines, taken by railroad officials, would be as follows : Central 
point. 725 feet above the sea; Florence, 975; Wacouta, 925; Red 
Wing, 800; Hay Creek, 975; Belvidere, 1,100; Burnside, 825; 
Featherstone, 1,000; Goodhue. 1,100; Zumbrota, 1,075; Pine Isl- 
land, 1,075; Welch, 925; Vasa, 975; Belle Creek, 1,050; Minneola, 
1.075; Roscoe, 1.125; Cannon Falls, 925; Leon, 1,080; Wana- 
mingo. 1.150; Cherry Grove, 1.200; Stanton, 925; Warsaw, 1,050; 
Holden, 1,150; Kenyon. 1,210. Florence and Central Point in 
these estimates are considered equal to one town, their areas being 
as 7 to 1 ; Wacouta, Red Wing and Burnside make another, their 
areas being as the figures 1, 2, 8; Welch and Stanton together 
make two towns. The figures give an estimated average eleva- 
tion for the county of about 1.015 feet above the sea. 

The soil of Goodhue county is based on a clayey sub-soil, in 
all places except on the terrace plains that skirt the main 
streams. This clay is generally fine and loamy; but in the high 
prairies of the western towns it is mingled with some pebbles, and 
even foreign boulders of a foot or more in diameter. Yet, how- 
ever frequent the stones on the surface, or in the immediate sub- 
soil, the real soil, which sustains the crops of the farmer, is 
invariably of a fine grain, and usually of a black color, with a 
thickness from a few inches to several feet. The stones in the 
sub-soil, which appear in the western part of the county, gradu- 
ally disappear tow r ard the east, and are wholly wanting in the 
extreme eastern part of the co'unty. The sub-soil in the rolling 
towns of the eastern tiers is a fine yellowish loam, in some cases 
a compact clay. 

Goodhue county abounds in lumber along the rivers, and also 
in several other portions. The following list has been compiled, 
giving the trees native to this county, together with a short 
description of each variety. In addition to those found in the 
list there are a few smaller trees, like the plum, crab apple and 
thorn apple, which are of little consequence. Among the eulti- 


vated shade trees which have been induced to grow here are the 
Balm of Gilead, White Poplar, Scotch Pine, Mountain Ash, White 
Spruce Balsam, or Fir, and Arbor Vitae. The native trees are 
as follows : 

Rock Maple — Not abundant; it is very valuable for fuel, and 
fine for shade but of rather slow growth. Soft, or Red Maple — 
A good shade tree, but easily broken by storms. Box Elder — 
Common in rich woods: a hardy shade tree. Sugar is made from 
this tree in some parts of the state. Basswood — Abundant in rich 
woods. One of the most beautiful trees for shade. Its lumber is 
excellent for furniture. Black Cherry — Very valuable for lum- 
ber. Some trees are found here which grow to be quite large. 
White Ash — Well known as a large and valuable forest tree. It 
is used much for shade. Rc<! Ash — Not common. Grows in low 
grounds. A small tree which resembles the white ash. Green 
Ash — Grows near river banks. Upper half of leaves have sharp 
teeth. Black Ash — Not abundant. It grows in swamps and wet 
banks along streams. A small tree with tough wood. Red Elm, 
or Slippery Kim — Well known, and ranks with the better grade 
of soft wood for fmd. White Elm — Abundant in rich soil along 
rivers. An elegant shade tree. Rock Elm — Very scarce. Wood 
very hard and timber valuable. Sugar Berry, or Hack Berry — 
A small tree hearing sweet fruit, the size of wild cherries. Xot 
abundant. Grows by river banks. Black- Walnut — A beautiful 
and valuable tree found along streams. Butternut — Grows in 
damp, rich soil, with wood softer and lighter than the walnut. 
Butternut-Hickory — Abundant on moist land. Bark smooth. The 
nut is small and bitter. Very valuable for fuel. 

Paper, or Canoe Birch — Grows sparingly on river banks. The 
Indians use the hark of this species for making canoes. Black 
Alder — Found at the Big Falls. It resembles the black cherry. 
Ironwood, or Hophorn Bean — Common in rich' woods, and is 
excellent for fmd. Has hop-like fruit. Blue, or White Beech — 
Grows along streams. Its wood is very hard. Burr Oak — Pin 
oak; abundant. It varies much in size and appearance. Very 
valuable for timber and fuel. White Oak — Xot common. Trunk 
more smooth and bark lighter colored than burr oak. Black 
Oak. or Scrub Oak. or Jack Oak — Grows in dry soil and has deep- 
eu1 leaves, shining on the upper surface; has a small acorn with 
a deep ciii). Red Oak — Abundant on rich soil on elevated ground 
in this vicinity. It resembles the black oak. but the trunk is 
smoother and more slender and light colored. The leaves are 
larger, not deeply cut nor shining above. Acorn large and oblong, 
with shallow cup. It is often mistaken for the black oak. Com- 
mon Poplar, or Popple — Well known ; grows further north than 


any other deciduous tree. Large Tooth Poplar — Bark darker. 
Colored leaves with large teeth. Less common than common pop- 
lar. The wood is harder and more valuable for fuel. Cotton- 
wood — Largely used as a shade tree. A rapid grower. White 
Pine — Found in several places along the banks of rivers and small 
streams, but now largely cut off. Bed Cedar — A beautiful tree 
found in small quantities along the banks of streams. 

To do justice to the detailed description of the geological 
structure of the county would be to use more space than the lim- 
its of this volume would justify. The thoughtful reader will find 
much valuable information on this subject in the second volume 
of a publication entitled "The Geology of Minnesota," dated 1885, 
edited by X. IT. Winehell. upon whose statements much of the 
information in this chapter is based. 

The first deep well drilled in the county is at the station of the 
Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad, beginning at the grade 
line of the road, 687 feet above the sea. Tin 1 work was done by 
W. E. Swan, of McGregor, la., who estimated the discharge at 
800 gallons per minute. The water could rise seventy-five feet 
above the surface when confined in a pipe. The water began to 
flow at 190 feet from the surface, and kept on increasing to the 
end. Another deep well situated about eighty rods west of the 
Milwaukee station, three rods south of the track and thirty feet 
above it, spouted three hundred barrels per day, rising thirty 
feet above the surface. This well passed through 160 feet of 
drift materials and entered the sandstone one hundred feet. 
Following is the record of the well at the Milwaukee depot, as 
given by Mr. Swan: Sand and gravel. 40 feet; sandy shale, 10 
feet ; blue shale, 50 feet ; sand rock, 10 feet ; blue shale, 30 feet ; 
mixture of sand, quartz and limestone, 45 feet; soft sandrock, 265 
feet. Total depth, 450 feet. 

In the early part of 1887 August Peterson obtained another 
artesian flow at the extreme northwest corner of section 26, 
township 113. range 15, in the valley of Spring creek. The 
surface of the ground where this well begins is about fifty feet 
higher than at the well above mentioned, and the water rises 
freely through a pipe that stands twenty feet above the surface. 
On striking the yellow, green and brown sandrock. the water 
rose to within twenty-five feet of the surface, and increased 
constantly in volume and force as the well went deeper. The 
bottom of this well is 146 feet short of the bottom of the well 
at the depot. The water is soft and pure. The record of this 
well was taken by the late Colonel William Colvill as follows: 
Sand and gravel, 112 feet; compact sandrock, 4 feet; blue sand- 
rock, 30 feet; green slaty shale, 90 feet; yellow, green and In-own 
sandrock. 15 feet: white sandrock. 104 feet: total depth, 355 


feet. Since these first three, numerous others have been success- 
fully sunk, and the city of Red "Wing is soon to receive its water 
supply from artesian sources. "With the increase in the number 
of wells, the force of the water has been somewhat diminished. 

While Goodhue county is pre-eminently an agricultural one, 
outside of the cities and villages, yet it has several other sources 
of material wealth. The county is abundantly supplied with 
building stone, and from some of the quarries a large amount 
of stone has been sent to various parts of the Northwest. There 
are quarries at Frontenac and Red Wing, from which stone has 
been obtained for buildings in Red Wing, St. Paul, Minneapolis 
and elsewhere. There are other quarries of lesser importance at 
Belvidere, Hay Creek, Featherstone and Vasa. Another product 
produced in large quantities is quicklime, and sand for mortar 
is abundant whenever access can be had to the gravel terraces, 
or the plains, along the principal streams ; but in the absence of 
that, resort can be had to the sandstone, which can easily be 
excavated for that purpose. Such use of this rock has been 
made on the southwest quarter of section 23, Goodhue township. 
There are some townships, however, in the southwestern part 
of the county, in which sand for mortar has to be hauled a great 
distance, the whole county being uniformly covered with a 
clayey loam. 

Brick of excellent quality is made at various points. The 
old capitol at St. Paul was made of red pressed brick from Red 
Wing, and the Red Wing product in this line is known far and 
wide for its excellence. The clay found in Goodhue township 
has caused the making of stoneware to become practically the 
leading industry of Red Wing. From this clay are manufactured 
the finest kinds of white and yellow stoneware, and also the 
sewer pipe which has a national reputation. A fine quality 
of sand is also shipped for filtering purposes. There is but little 
peat in the county at large. Along the old valleys in the eastern 
part of the county are found some peat beds, but as yet little 
has been done in the line of making it a commercial product 
by its successful use as fuel. 

The animals native to Goodhue county are deer, elk, bear, 
fisher, beaver, otter, mink, muskrat, coon, squirrel (black, fox, 
red and chipmunk), fox, wolf (cayote and lumber), weasel, 
skunk, gopher (pocket and striped), wild cat, lynx, badger, wood- 
chuck, porcupine and a very few buffalo, though these were 
stragglers from the south. The buffalo, badger, porcupine, otter, 
beaver, fisher, bear, elk and deer are now practically extinct. 

Elijah Haskell Blodgett, deceased, will always be remembered 
as one of the most kindly and best beloved of Red Wing's most 
prominent citizens. His period of activity in this city began in 



the early days and extended until the day of his lamented death, 
June 6, 1909, although he retired from the more strenuous duties 
of his career several years before. Mr. Blodgett came of sturdy 
old New England stock, the name of Blodgett being an honored 
one in the Colonial annals of that section. His father, Ashley 
Blodgett, a native of Massachusetts, married Orill Haskell, the 
daughter of an old Vermont family, and together they estab- 
lished their rooftree on a large farm in Weathersfield, in the 
Green Mountain State. In 1835 they moved to Middlesex, Ver- 
mont, and there continued farming until 1854, when they retired 
from active life and took up their residence in Norwich in the 
same state, where the mother ended her days in 1867 and the 
father in 1894, the latter having reached the honored old age 
of ninety-nine years. Elijah was born in Weathersfield, Vt., 
February 16, 1832, took advantage of such education as the 
primitive district schools of his time afforded, and supplemented 
this with a course in an academy at Montpelier, Vt., later learn- 
ing the carpenter's trade, which he followed at Windsor, Vt., 
from 1848 to 1855, in the meantime acquiring a knowledge of 
wood pattern making, which he made his occupation in, the same 
village from 1855 to 1866, with the exception of the year 1857, 
which he spent at Newark, N. J. Like many other young men 
of his day, he then determined to try his fortunes amid the 
wider opportunities of the great Northwest. Arriving in Red 
Wing May 31, 1866, he first entered the employ of the late T. B. 
Sheldon, who at that time conducted a large grain elevator. 
After several years of faithful and efficient service, Mr. Blodgett 
was admitted as a partner, the firm being known as T. B. 
Sheldon & Co. In this enterprise Mr. Blodgett continued until 
1902, when he sold the business and retired. During his more 
active days he served as mayor and alderman, as president of 
the Red Wing & Trenton Transit Company, and as president of 
the board of education. He had extensive interests in the manu- 
facturing industries of Red Wing, and at the time of his death 
was a director in the Red Wing Union Stoneware Company, the 
Red Wing Sewer Pipe Company, and the LaGrange mills. Mr. 
Blodgett was married September 17, 1855, at Hartland, Vt., to 
Sarah P. Sturtevant, of that place, a daughter of Thomas F. 
and Rosaline (Taylor) Sturtevant, the former of whom was an 
extensive wool manufacturer. Mrs. Blodgett died March 28, 
1906, and is laid at rest in Oakwood cemetery, as is her husband. 
At the entrance of this cemetery is a beautiful arch, erected by 
Mr. Blodgett in loving memory of his wife. 

Hon. Joshua C. Pierce, one of the sturdy pioneers who laid 
the foundations for the future financial integrity of Red Wing, 
was born near Nashua, N. H., December 8, 1830. When young 


he went to Boston and started in life for himself as a news- 
boy. By dint of much saving, he managed to secure funds suffi- 
cient to pursue a course in surveying in the Academy o'f New 
Hampshire. It was in 1855 that he came to Red Wing and 
entered the land business as a member of the firm of Smith, 
Towne & Co. He followed that business until October, 1868, 
when, in company with T. K. Simmons and A. W. Pratt, he 
started the bank of Pierce, Simmons & Co. When the bank was 
incorporated Mr. Pierce became president of the institution, and 
retained that position until the time of his death. Pie also 
served several terms in the Minnesota legislature, being elected 
on the Democratic ticket. Mr. Pierce was twice married. During 
his lifetime he was an enthusiastic supporter of all enterprises 
tending toward civic growth and improvement. The name is 
perpetuated in Red Wing by a nephew. A. P. Pierce, for many 
years mayor of the city. J. C. Pierce died June 13, 1904. 



Formation of the Earth — Cooling of the Crust — The Various 
Periods as Outlined by Scholars — Appearance of Vegeta- 
tion — First Animal Life — Geologic Formations of Goodhue 
County — Influence of These Distance Periods on Modern 

!t was necessary for the earth to undergo many changes 
before it became suited for the habitation of man. According 
to the students, the globe was originally a mass of molten rock. 
The cooling process was undoubtedly a slow one, and the crust 
just under our feet did not become hard enough and cool enough 
to rest any superstructure on for perhaps many thousands of 
years. Probably many ages passed while it was a rough, ragged, 
irregular mass of granite — the skeleton of the future earth. 
Abrasion and erosion ground the surfaces of the mass into 
powder. Oceans swept over it. Chemical changes operated upon 
it. Next the sandstone was laid up. Then came the magnesran 
limestone of which our bluffs are composed. At this period 
fossil life begins. The reptilian age came on. The iethyosaurus. 
the pterodactyl, the iguanodon and plesiosaurus and other huge 
monsters wallowed and splashed in the muddy water. Then 
came the glacial period. The edges of the bluffs were polished 
and seamed by huge icebergs on their way down from the North. 
The Mississippi at that time covered a vast area. What are 
now towering peaks were then islands, scarcely reaching above 
the water. But the glacial period passed. Vegetation appeared. 
The earth rejoiced in scenes of beauty. Mammals came. Man, 
rude and uncouth, the contemporary of the mammoth and the 
cave bear, appeared on the scene, and the era of humankind 
commenced in primitive barbarity. 

Some years ago Prof. E. AY. Schmidt. M. A., of the Red Wing 
Seminary, was induced to write a short article on the geology of 
Eed Wing and the surrounding environs of Goodhue county. 



Later he amplified the article, but the managers of this publica- 
tion present the former paper as the one which comes within 
the scope of this work, and one well suited to popular reading 
by those not familiar with the story of the formation of this 
county from the time when the earth was a mass of liquid fire 
down to the age when it was suited to the occupation of man. 
The paper follows : 

"It is with considerable reluctance that I assented to discuss 
this subject, because my pursuit of knowledge in this realm has 
been prompted by a love of nature and recreation, by a desire 
for relief from the wearisome routine of the daily vocation, by 
a wish for increase of culture and the pleasures that spring 
from contact with nature, rather than from a desire to perfect 
myself in any particular study. These investigations are a 
splendid field for training the powers of observation and judg- 
ment, and a lesson in patience in slowly spelling out the silent 
pages of nature's book, wherein is imprinted the geologic history 
of prehistoric Goodhue county. 

"The subject is so vast and the material that can be com- 
manded so abundant that the greatest difficulty in discussing 
it lies in knowing what to omit, rather than in finding sufficient 
material. The object in the following is an attempt to present 
the broad outlines of our natural environment. Let us endeavor 
first to read the story of the rocks and hills, of the uplands and 
the valleys, of the artesian wells and the gravel terraces, of the 
fossils and of the rocks, and see bow nature fashioned our present 
abode upon the ancient sea floor and turned it from a barren 
sea of waste waters into the picturesque spot that makes Red 
Wing famous for its beauty, cheers us with its never wearying 
aspect, and makes it a suitable location for industrial and educa- 
tional enterprises. If we ascend Barn bluff near Webster's Way, 
Ave pass over strata of various materials. Some layers are com- 
posed of quite pure quartzoze sand, others of sand mixed more 
or less with earthy impurities. Other layers present shaly lime- 
stone, others more massive and finer grained lime. Nodules of 
chert and cavities filled with crystals can be seen at various 
elevations. Some of the strata also contain fossils." The lime- 
stone that caps the bluff can be traced up Cannon river, where, 
in the vicinity of Welch, it is surmounted by a hardened layer 
that seems to be a mixture of sand and the limestone that can 
be seen still further up the valley as distinct strata. At Cannon 
Falls Mr. Scofield will gladly take you to the top of the bluffs, 
where an outcrop of different limestone reveals a cemetery of 
ancient creatures, lying exposed on one of the farms. It might 
here be noted that our sandstones are composed of more or 
less angular fragments, worn smooth with a tendency to round- 


ness. Their size is fairly uniform iu the same layer. The lower 
layers contain coarser grains and the succeeding higher ones 
liner grains. 

"At Claybank can be seen the clay pits. At Wanamingo 
the limestone quarries are filled with mummies of countless crea- 
tures, while on the fields are boulders of volcanic rock, covered 
everywhere in our county, as with a mantle, by till and loam. 
Along our rivers lie the terraces and gravel bars which add so 
much to the beauty of our deeply-eroded valleys. The above 
features constitute the main geologic formations of Goodhue 
county. The story of these formations is believed by geologists 
to be about as follows : The hard archaen rocks revealed by 
borings represent the ancient sea bottom when the earth had 
cooled sufficiently to form an outer crust and the vapor of the 
atmosphere had become sufficiently chilled to form the sea, which 
covered the outer crust. Then the nucleus of America appeared 
at the north. The sea had a powerful sweep against the newborn 
land. The absence of vegetation favored swift drainage. The 
high rate of the earth's revolution favored the formation of 
rapid ocean currents. The tides produced by such a rapid motion 
hurled themselves with fury in quick succession upon the beach. 
The higher temperature of the atmosphere favored, torrential 
rains and produced most violent storms. The presence of many 
gases and acids and the barren ness of the land all favored the 
rapid disintegration of the rocks under the attacks of the atmos- 
phere, while the heaving of the sea washed the debris back, 
scattering it over the floor of the sea. The finest parts were 
carried furthest, so that the sand in our county is a testimony 
of the comparative shallowness of the former sea. The grains 
of sand were sifted, sorted and smoothed in their journey. This 
explains also the fact that the grains in any one layer are fairly 
uniform in size. The difference in color is due to storms or 
later infiltrations; coarser or finer grains determine greater or 
less distance transferred. The succession of sandstone, shales 
and limestones is due to the successive rising and sinking of the 
ocean surface. The shales were formed by the stirring up and 
blending of the sand with the new material coming in above it. 
The limestones were deposited in quiet, deep waters, but the 
succeeding elevation permitted the waves to stir them up in 
places into dome-shaped structures and knolls of varying thick- 
ness. "Wherever the sea encroached on the northern land, the 
sand was left further north, and we received the finer materials. 
When the sea receded it washed backward the sand upon the 
deeper formation. That our rocks are sea deposits is shown by 
several clearly read proofs. 1 — The nature of the material and 
character of the grains of sand and lime. 2 — Their horizontal 


position and also the oblique ebb and flow structure. 'S — The 
presence of only marine fossils, of shales, mud cracks and ripple 
marks. The absence of tilting and of the influence of heat 
shows that ttiey were never disturbed by volcanic eruptions in 
this quarter. The enormous amount of material deposited shows 
that long periods of ceaseless activity were consumed to perform 
such a tremendous amount of erosion. Our limestone formation, 
for instance, extends from New York to the Rockies. The large 
quantities of carbon dioxide in the Limestones is thought to have 
been derived from the cooling atmosphere. The sediments were 
hardened by their own cohesion and the infiltration of cements. 
The wide extent of country over which some of the formations 
spread indicates that when submerged it formed a wide, shallow 
sea bottom. The mud cracks and ripple marks speak of the 
beach. The compacted layers of sediments have received dif- 
ferent names. The lowest is the Potsdam sandstone, also called 
St. Croix, from the St. Croix valley, where it outcrops. Over 
this are spread in succession : J. 2. the Si. Lawrence and Jordan 
sandstones, by some included in the St. Croix, which can be seen 
in outcrop in Barn bluff, College hill and Twin bluff; 3, lower 
magnesian limestone, capping our bluffs; 4. New Richmond 
sandstone at Cannon falls: 5, Shakope limestone, seen at Cannon 
falls and Northfield; '». St. Peter sandstone^ seen at White rock, 
Castle rock and the falls of the Cannon; T. Trenton limestone, 
seen at Wanamingo and Cannon falls. 

"Ai some period life appeared. Some geologists place this 
evenl hack as far as 2< )().()( )().()( )0 years, so we have a wide range 
of lime to choose from. The archaean rocks contain no clear 
traces of life, so thai the rocks in our immediate neighborhood 
are of special interest, as they introduce us to some of the 
earliest known animals. Other living things, such as lichens and 
mosses, may have preceded them, hut owing to their delicate 
structure, the physical conditions under which they lived and 
the lone- period of time that has elapsed, no definite traces have 
been left. The St. Croix formation contains traces of plants 
regarded as sea weeds. There is no evidence of land plants. 
In the geologic foundations of the county are evidences of all 
the types known to the animal kingdom except the vertebrates. 
The combined contribution of animal life to the rock structure 
of our present home was great. The successive generations were 
piled up on the tombs of their ancestors, while those whose 
shells were reduced to powder — and their number was undoubt- 
edly far greater than those whose remains are unearthed today — 
furnished the material for the encasing rock. In general it is 
an accepted proposition that limestones deposited by marine 
agencies were produced by the calcareous remains of animals 


having the power to abstrad Lime held in suspension in the 

••Then came the interval between the Trenton and the glacial 
periods. The struggle between the ocean and the archsean con- 
tinent ceased. Minnesota and adjoining areas were raised above 
the sea. and our enmity began giving up instead of receiving 
more. Erosion sei in and the debris went elsewhere to build up 
other states, the archsean rocks in the meantime being completely 
worn down. The resull is in good part embodied in the topog- 
raphy we have today. The .Mississippi carved out its pivsenl 
channel but flowed aboul 100 feel Lower than it docs today. As 
the former periods were useful in building up the material for 
Red Wing's industries, so tins period was useful in exposing 
and making them easy of access. 

"Then came the glacial period. Geologists are very happy 
because of the fact thai an area of 10,000 square miles in Minne- 
sota. Wisconsin and Illinois was left uncovered by the ice fields. 
Of the driftless area. 3,000 square miles lie in Minnesota, and we 
are jusl about at the upper end of it. Maps of this period show 
thai glaciers bearing down on this region from the northeast 
seem to have spent their force and died away before they reached 
the lower driftless area. The glaciers from the Lake Superior 
and Michigan regions encircled it on the south, but did not cover 
it. hence, as Prof. Chamberlain said, the driftless area remains an 
unmarred monument of erosion from the earliest ages to the 
present time. The driftless area is clearly distinguished from the 
drifted area in that it is free from lakes, sloughs, or obstructed 
drainage. Gravid mounds, like those spread over the country 
from Hastings northward, are absent. No gravel is found 
beneath the soil except where running water lodged it. The 
valleys look old. The rivers that run from the glaciated to the drift- 
less area are lined by high terraces showing the height of the river 
bottom during the melting period of the glaciers, while the rivers 
lying wholly within the driftless area lack them. During the last 
glacial epoch, when the melting glaciers made a larger part of 
this county a great sea of icy water, gravel and sand were 
disengaged from the ice and carried forward to lower levels by 
turbulent waters. 'The valley of the Cannon river was flooded per- 
manently during the continuance of this whole epoch with waters 
that came directly from the ice fields of Dakota and Rice counties, 
and which bore along great quantities of floating ice and of 
mingled sand, mud and gravel. The Mississippi also was at 
flood stage. These valleys were filled with alluvial detritus to 
the height of their highest terrace, and flowed at a permanent 
level of about 125 to 150 feet higher than now, the bottom of 
the water being determined by this terrace. On the withdrawal 


of the ice field further north, and the cessation of the supply of 
such detritus, these streams began to excavate their present 
channels in the loose materials over which they had been flowing. 
This excavation was a process of short duration and continued 
as long as any glacial condition of the preceding cold epoch 
lingered in the state. When the rivers were reduced to more 
nearly their present stage, by the cutting off of the supply from 
the melting glaciers, a slow process of refilling seems to have 
been begun, which we see going on at present. This refilling 
is most evident in the lower portions of the river valleys, and 
in those parts where the valley is much larger than is now 
required by the stream flowing there.' 

"Such, then, is the geological story in brief, telling us how 
our environments were formed. They are of interest because the 
industries of Ked Wing are directly dependent upon them. The 
porous sandstones, containing gallons of water per cubic yard, 
furnish us with an inexhaustible supply of water for our mills 
and other establishments. The limestones furnish us lime for 
mortar and rocks for architectural purposes. We draw upon 
the gravel bars to grade our roads and our railroads. The soil 
of our farms is splendidly mixed, by the plowing, grinding and 
crushing of the glacial mill. The trees of the North and the 
grasses of the South came in, and furnish us with fuel and with 
opportunities for dairying. Clay for making bricks is handy 
in many places, and furnishes material for the pottery industries. 
The woods keep our saw mills humming and supply our furni- 
ture factories with materials for various products. The yield 
of the soil employs many at the malt houses and the mills, 
while the beauty and the facilities of the place draw to it seats 
of learning and of training." 

Thor K. Simmons, now deceased, was for thirty-three years 
one of the leading citizens of Red Wing, and his name is still 
perpetuated in the title of one of the county's leading financial 
institutions. He served as alderman and as county commissioner, 
and in other ways showed his public spirited interest in the 
welfare of the city and county. Born in Kragers, Norway, 
August 12, 1832, he received his education in the excellent public 
schools of that city, and became a school teacher. At the age 
of twenty-one, in 1853, he left his native land and came to 
America, locating for a time at Janesville, Wis., where some 
fellow countrymen had previously settled. In 1856 he followed 
the influx of immigration to Goodhue county, and homesteaded 
160 acres near what is now known as Clay bank, in Goodhue 
township. A year later he decided to enter business life, and as 
a preliminary training in American commercial methods, clerked 
a year in the store of C. J. F. Smith, then one of the leading 

T. K. Simmons 



stores in the city. Thus equipped, Mr. Simmons started a mer- 
cantile establishment of his own, and continued in business many- 
years, being also a wholesale grain dealer on a large scale, his 
elevators being located throughout the country. During this 
time the need of a financial institution was felt, and the Pierce- 
Simmons bank was organized, with Mr. Simmons as one of the 
chief promoters. In 1887, he retired from active business, and 
lived a retired life until his death, May 7, 1890. He was a 
Republican in politics, and a member of the Swedish Lutheran 
church. Thor K. Simmons was married June 25, 1858, at Cannon 
Falls, Minn., to Hannah S. Hawkins, of. that city, daughter of 
Nels and Eva (Carlstrom) Hawkins, natives of Sweden, who 
came to. America, located in Indiana for three years and then 
settled at Cannon Falls, where they resided until the 'time of 
their deaths, the father dying May 10, 1889, and the mother 
May 26, the same year. To Mr. and Mrs. Simmons were born 
nine children. Emma is now Mrs. AY. C Krise, of Red Wing. 
N. K. Simmons, the second child, lives in this city also, as does 
Eleda, now Mrs. (Rev.) 0. S. Meland. Eva. married to H. J. 
Brown, lives in Portland, Me. T. N. Simmons lives in Red Wing. 
Frances is Mrs. J. L. Keenan, of Hammond, La. Marie, now 
Mrs. H. Van Smith, lives in Oklahoma. Elvira is at home, and 
T. K. Simmons also lives in Oklahoma. The family is universally 
respec.ted, and enjoys the heritage of honor left by the father. 



The First Human Inhabitants of Goodhue County — Indications 
that They Were Indians — Location and Shape of the Mounds 
— their Purpose — What Excavation Has Revealed — Fort 
Sweney — Stone Cairns — The Lowland Mounds — Reign of 
the Sioux — By Edward W. Schmidt. 

At what period of the earth's existence the eye of humankind 
first beheld the beauties of Goodhue county and surrounding 
territory is a problem which will probably never be absolutely 
solved. The theory that a prehistoric race, superior in intelli- 
gence to the Indians, once possessed this locality is not accepted 
by scholars in general, and it is doubtless true that the first 
human occupants of this county were the ancestors of the Sioux 
Indians; though from whence they came is one of the great 
unanswered questions. Evidences thus far discovered indicate 
that the Mound Builders, famous in song and romance, who left 
so many indications of their work in this locality, were prehis- 
toric Sioux, or at least a race of Indians (possibly the Iowas) 
closely resembling them, and not an entirely different people, 
as has sometimes been maintained by scholars of others days. 

The mounds! The mounds! Who does not love to spend a 
day among the silent monuments of a vanished race? Who is 
not charmed while strolling among these tombs, either when the 
green of spring covers them as with a carpet, while all around 
you the hills, lakes, rivers, ponds and woods contribute their 
beauty to complete the picture of a glorious day in June, or 
while the dreamy haze of an autumnal day tinges the gorgeous 
jianorama of the many-colored landscape with delicate tint of 
blue? To the charms of such a scene the lover of mounds is 
not a stranger, nor to the pleasant feeling of mystery that steals 
upon his mind as he gazes at the sepulchres that dot the terrace 
or stand out boldly on the promontory of a steep and rugged 




One of the places to see the mounds on a magnificent scale 
is Goodhue county. Parts of the county are so rich in mounds 
that she need not take a back seal in archaeology, by any means. 
Archaeologists will he taxed for many years to come before the 
perplexing problems presented by the relics shall he unraveled 
into dear and continuous history. 

What is the meaning of the mounds.' Who made them? 
Whence did the mound builders come .' When did they live here? 
What sort of life did they lead? What was their state of 
culture? Who were the first inhabitants of Goodhue county? 
These are some of the questions which archaeology is busy trying 
to Solve. 

While Goodhue county cannot boast of mounds having such 
gigantic proportions as some other parts of the United States 
can. nor of such grotesque mounds as the serpent mound of Ohio, 
yet the mounds of our county are so striking in number, kind 
and distribution that they present a rich field for archaeological 
inquiry. Our late state archaeologist, J. V. Brower, had in mind 
the publication of another book whose main contents were to 
be the presentation of all known facts relative to the mounds 
and Indian relics of Red "Wing and vicinity. As it is, the 
mounds of Goodhue county will make no small showing in the 
forthcoming volume which is now in preparation under the direc- 
tion of Prof. N. Winched, former state geologist. The number 
of mounds in Goodhue county is considerable. The largest 
number is found in the vicinity of Red AYing along the banks 
of the Mississippi. Spring creek and the lower course of the 
Cannon. Here they frequently occur in groups of no mean pro- 
portions, while smaller clusters, sprinkled over the spaces inter- 
vening between the larger ones, help to make a long, continuous 
series of mounds, extending many miles in length. Isolated 
mounds are not uncommon. The larger groups are invariably 
situated near the water courses and usually on the lofty terraces 
that give a commanding view of the magnificent valleys. Such 
a distribution of the mounds finds its explanation in the fact 
that the rivers offered beautiful sites for habitations and routes 
of travel in times of peace and war. and above all, two sub- 
stances absolutely necessary to the maintenance of life, namely, 
water and food. The mound builder was not slow in picking- 
out picturesque places as a location for his village sites. The 
distribution of the mounds bears ample proof of this. Anyone 
who visits the following groups cannot fail to be convinced 
that the mound builders were certainly guided in the selection 
of the location for their mounds by an unerring sense of beautiful 
scenery and a high appreciation and instinctive love of nature 
as well as by other factors. At Red Wing there used to be some 


fifty mounds. Many of these have been destroyed by building 
operations of the white man. but some still remain. On the 
extreme nort Invest spur of the fair grounds a few nice mounds 
overlook the Hay creek and Mississippi valleys. The city of 
Red Wing ought to make it a special object to preserve these 
and keep them intact as an object lesson for coming genera- 
tions. There will always be in each generation a certain number 
of people to whom the mounds will be of special interest, while 
a much larger number will always derive pleasure and recreation 
by an occasional visit to these historical remains. On Seminary 
hill, only two. almost obliterated knolls, remain on the extreme 
eastern spur of the bluff. These, together with the mound in 
front of the City hospital and the one on the wooded knoll in 
front of the ladies' seminary, are all located in places from 
whence a magnificent view of the valley, river, lake and wooded 
bluff can be had. The same practically holds true of the 200 
mounds near Cannon Junction, some of which are located on 
the high brow of one of the finest glacial terraces in the country. 
From there the chain of mound groups extends with few inter- 
ruptions to Welch, and all of them are situated on the imposing 
remains which mark the former bottom of the glacial river 
whose raging flood in the long ago rushed through this valley, 
carrying with it untold quantities of sand, cobble stones and 
rocks, filling up the valleys in places to the height of eighty 
feet. During postglacial times, large portions of this deposit 
have been swepl ou1 by the Cannon river, and it is chiefly on 
the remnants of the glacial terraces that the mounds are located. 
A beautiful illustration of this is seen at Fort Sweney. 
Directly south of the Great Western station at Welch is a small 
area about an acre in extent which erosion has almost detached 
from the rest of the terrace. A long neck of land serves as an 
isthmus to unite this area with the rest of the terrace towards 
the south and thus prevents it from being an isolated knoll. On 
this unique elevation is the only prehistoric fort known in 
Goodhue county, but it is one of the nicest in Minnesota. It 
was discovered in the following manner: In the spring of 
1902 the state archa'ologist, J. V. Brower, asked the writer to 
examine the region between Cannon Falls and Welch. On May 
1st I walked from Cannon Falls to Welch without finding a 
single mound. Having half an hour left before the evening 
train arrived, I climbed the terrace to see how the valley looked. 
This brought the mounds on the hill into view, and a rapid 
inspection of the place revealed all the evidences of a strong 
fortification. Six mounds crowned the inclosed area, while a 
well pronounced embankment skirts the southern edge facing 
the terrace, which is separated from the fort by a deep, wide 


gully. The following week Mr. Brower, Dr. W. M. Sweney and 
myself visited the place and made a careful examination of it. 
A detailed drawing of the fort appears in Vol. VI, plate XII, 
"Minnesota Memoirs." The number of pits, mounds, and other 
earthworks in this locality is forty-one. At Mr. Brower 's urgent 
request that the discoverer give the place a name. I deemed it 
proper to call it Fort Sweney. in honor of Dr. W. M. Sweney 
and his father. Dr. W. \Y. Sweney. for the very valuable services 
rendered by them to the study of Minnesota archaeology. What 
the former history of Fort Sweney is can at present only be 
conjectured. Mr. Brower pronounced it the finest fortification 
he had seen in Minnesota. This is saying a good deal, because 
he has examined a great number. The absence of other fortifi- 
cations in Goodhue county seems -to tell us that the aborigines, 
who inhabited this region held undisputed sway over this part 
of the state. Fort Sweney may therefore only indicate a sporadic 
but powerful attack upon the inhabitants of this region by some 
roving band or tribe. It may also mark the place where the 
last possessors of the land, the Sioux, besieged the previous 
owners, the Iowas. At present there are not sufficient data at 
hand to determine what the exact truth is. Repeated careful 
observation and searches at the place have so far failed to 
reveal any implements of war of any kind. The place has 
never been plowed and the mounds have never been explored. 
Further research may throw more light on the obscure problem 
as to who the warring parties were, and whether the conflict 
was a sanguinary one or not. At any rate, the place chosen was 
one well calculated to enable a small party to make a stubborn 
defense. The sides of the hill are as steep as gravel can lie on 
an incline. The approach from the neck of land where only 
a few men could approach simultaneously was fortified by pits, 
an embankment and by a stockade. Traces of the latter are 
seen in the dent or depression that runs across the approach at 
right angles to its length. The valley side towards AVelch was 
undoubtedly fortified by the river, which at an earlier period 
skirted the base of the hill, as is shown by the depression in 
the plane of the valley at this particular point. A portion of 
the ancient bed is still filled with water and forms a pond. 
If this be true, then the construction of the fort must be placed 
at a considerably remote period of the past to allow time for 
the subsequent changes made by the river, which now flows on 
the other side of "the valley. A party besieged in the fort could 
easily render an approach up the hillside exceedingly dangerous, 
while the river gave an unfailing supply of water. Some of the 
pits at Fort Sweney could accommodate from twelve to twenty- 
five men. The pottery and other relics which we have found 


on the flats below are of the ordinary Sioux type. That the 
fort was built before the introduction of firearms seems very 
probable from the fact that rifle bullets can be dropped into 
it from surrounding hills, but in times when only bows, arrows 
and war clubs were in use the hill was almost impregnable. If 
the fort marks the site where the Iowas made a determined 
stand against the new invaders and later possessors of Goodhue 
county, then the spot is full of interest to the student of arch- 
a?ology, not only from the interesting fort "that is there, but also 
for the historical interest assoeiated with the fact that here the 
proud and dominant Sioux made a tight to gain possession of 
Minnesota territory. This, however, is conjecture, and the real 
history of the fortification may be far different. It is not always 
easy to read the story of silent stones and heaps of earth. 

The extreme northern part of Goodhue county, composed of 
Prairie Island in the town of Welch and Burnside. is also full 
of archaeological interest. The number of mounds and earth- 
works along Indian slough. Sturgeon lake. Buffalo slough and 
Cedar lake amounts to 260. One of the mounds near Indian 
slough is all of MOO feet long and has projections on it which 
look as though they were intended to represent the legs of some 
animal. The whole earthwork has a tadpole-like appearance. 
If this is an effigy mound, then Goodhue county possesses at least 
one of the remarkable class of mounds of which many beautiful 
illustrations can be seen in various parts of Wisconsin, for 
example. a1 Madison, where large bird, fox. bear and squirrel 
mounds can be seen along the lake shores. Across the river 
from Prairie Island are two more effigy mounds. They are two 
of a very remarkable group of 300 mounds, the Mero group. 
To see a more imposing group of mounds than is presented here 
in the short distance of a mile one would have to travel far. 
The land is fairly billowy with mounds and in many parts there 
would scarcely be room enough to build others of a size equal 
to the existing ones. Baby mounds and large mounds clot the 
surface everywhere. Those not familiar with the various kinds 
of mounds may gain an idea of their size from the following 
figures : An effigy mound lying in the open field was intended 
to picture some such animal as the wolf or lynx. The head is 
thirty-nine feet wide, the neck twenty-four feet, the body thirty- 
seven feet. The tail is forty-six feet long and twenty-two feet 
Avide at the base. The height of the body above the ground is 
four feet. The annual plowing and harrowing of the field 
undoubtedly decreased the height of this and other mounds. 
The beaver mound, which occurs on the northwest corner of the 
Mero group, lies close to the edge of the terrace facing the 
river. It is 190 feet long and is even more imposing than the 


one jusi described. It may be true that this mound represents 
,i heaver emerging from a pond. The dam terminates in a mound 
six feet high and forty-two feet across. The best time to view 
these or any other mounds is in the spring before the grass and 
weeds get a good start. 

At the Adams farm, near Hager, is a group of seventy-four 
mounds. One of the largest is located in an adjoining cemetery 
and is so large that no less than twenty- three gravestones, 
marking intrusive burials by white people, can be counted upon 
it. About two miles east of Hager is a boulder outline or picto- 
graph representing a large bow and arrow. It is situated on 
the talus slope of one of the bluffs on Mr. Shaver's farm and 
is made up of limestones laid in such a way as to represent a 
bent bow with the arrow pointing towards Lake Pepin. The 
bow is 185 feet long and under favorable conditions can be 
seen at a distance of four or five miles. Near Bay City are a 
few more mounds. Prof. Hill and I dug trenches through some 
of these, but failed to find any relics. In Trenton slough there 
is a long bar jutting out into the water. Here a considerable 
number of pits dent the ground. In digging into one of these 
I found a tomahawk, ashes and pottery. The pits probably 
mark the site of dwelling places where the lodges were partially 
built below the surface as a protection against the cold of winter. 
While the prehistoric remains located at Diamond Bluff, Bay 
( 'ity and at the Adams farm near Hager do not lie within Good- 
hue county, they cannot be omitted in this connection, because 
they form one harmonious whole with the mounds on the Min- 
nesota side of the river and help to swell the testimony that 
this region was long occupied by a race that lived in considerable 
numbers on both sides of the river and w r ere undisputed masters 
of the whole region. Where hostile territories in our state touched 
each other, there the boundary line can be roughly traced by 
the forts and ramparts. Forts are, however, absent in this 
region, except the fort at Welch. The similarity, and we may 
say, identity, of many articles, such as arrows and war clubs, 
and the similarity of decorations on pottery found at the places 
mentioned point to the same conclusion. Hay creek and Spring 
creek also furnish their contingent of 150 or more mounds, so 
that the total number of tumuli, earthworks, embankments, etc., 
that occur along the numberless water courses within eleven 
miles of Red Wing runs up, by actual count, close to 2,000. 
Such an array of earthworks may be expected to present con- 
siderable variety of size, shape and purpose in construction. 
By far the larger number are of the round kind so typical of this 
part of the United States. Others are oblong. A few, as already 
stated, are of the singular kind called effigy mounds and repre- 


sent wild animals. In height the mounds usually vary from a 
swell of land to four feet. Some are considerably higher. On 
the terrace opposite the mouth of Belle creek is a mound sixty- 
five feet long, thirty feet wide and three feet high. Another 
mound in the same group is eighty-six feet long, fifty feet wide 
from base to base across the top, and six feet high at one end. 
One of the mounds on the brow of Diamond bluff was originally 
twelve feet high. This mound was selected by four of us as a 
favorable specimen for exploration. We were, however, ill repaid 
for our labor as far as finding any relics was concerned. The 
round-topped mounds measure from ten to forty feet or more in 
diameter. Their circumference is usually circular. Departures 
from this shape are due to weather erosion, or to some other 
degrading agency. Occasionally walls of earth many feet in 
length but low in elevation are found. A portion of such a wall 
was removed in grading a street on the fair grounds at Red 
Whig, and thirteen skeletons were brought to light. It would 
seem as though these earthenwork walls were formed by burying 
a large number of dead in a row. The burials may have occurred 
at different intervals, and in course of time a long earthwork 
was the result. The arrangement of mounds in the various 
groups does not seem to depend on any definite rule of order, 
but seems to result from a process of mound building extending 
over a considerable period of time, each site for a mound being 
selected by the builders according to the space, material or 
topography of the locality. Undoubtedly each mound was placed 
for some definite purpose in the spot where it is found today, 
but what the purpose of any mound was may be difficult to say. 
The spade often partially tells us what we want to know, but 
sometimes it leaves us as much as ever in the dark. When the 
interior of a mound reveals human bones, then the inference is 
that the mound served as a tomb, but intrusive burials may, of 
course, complicate the problem. But when a mound can be 
opened without revealing any trace of human remains or of 
artificial articles, it seems safe to conclude that not all the 
mounds were built for burial purposes. The erection of such 
a large number of mounds must have required an enormous 
expenditure of time and energy. If all the mounds in Goodhue 
county were placed in a row they would form a line of earth- 
works many miles in length. The tools with which all the work 
was done were probably wooden spades, stone hoes and similar 
implements that indicate a low degree of culture. Where the 
whole village population turned out for a holiday or a funeral 
a large mound could be built in a much shorter time than if the 
work was performed by only a few individuals. The surface of 
the land adjoining the mound frequently shows plain evidences 


of where the material was obtained for the construction of the 
mound. All in all, the regularity, symmetry and even mathe- 
matical exactness with which the mounds are built show con- 
siderable skill and taste. The reader can picture to himself the 
funeral scenes, the wailing of the sorrowing survivors and the 
(lames of funeral pyres which were sometimes built. 

Another interesting class of aboriginal remains in Goodhue 
county are the so-called "stone cairns" found, with few excep- 
tions, on the bluffs between Hay creek and Spring creek. A 
baker's dozen of these have been located. They are conical 
piles of stones, now much mutilated, measuring up to twelve feet 
in diameter at the base. They are about as unique archaeological 
structures as any found in the state, because no others are found, 
if memory serves me right, nearer than in Illinois and Kansas. 
There is little reason to doubt that they are old stone graves, 
so old that all positive traces of human bodies buried in them 
have been obliterated. Therefore they are hundreds of years 
old, and may have been built by a tribe of Indians who lived 
here before the Sioux arrived. If they were built by the Sioux, 
then it is strange that the number of cairns is so small and 
confined to such a limited area. 

In regard to the origin of the mounds it may be said in 
brief that they are of Indian origin. The idea of a prehistoric 
race of mound builders distinct from the Indian has been 
exploded by archaeological research, but it is very common to 
find this idea expressed in books of the last generation and in 
the minds of those who in early childhood had the "mound 
builder" theory instilled into them. The real mound builder 
was a genuine Indian and not a member of some other race. 
The evidences of this are many. Indians are known to have 
built mounds. The articles found in the mounds are the same 
in kind and make as those found on the nearby village site. 
Invariably a large mound group has a village site close by. The 
articles found on the sites and in the mounds are such as the 
Indians used. Space forbids a discussion of this subject, but 
here is a partial list of the objects that have been found in 
.Goodhue county: Arrows, of various sizes and shapes, made 
of chert, quartz, quartzite, gunflint and other varieties of rock; 
spearheads, knives, awls, needles, hammerstones, millstones, 
clubs, sinkers, bone implements, fragments of pipes, scrapers in 
profusion, ice-axes, spuds, chungee stones, paint pots, paint cups, 
hammers of hematite and other kinds of rocks, fleshers, polishing 
stones, drills, hairpins, a decorated buffalo-rib knife, mauls, stone 
balls, flakes, chisels, lances, mullers, mortars, whetstones, deco- 
rated pieces of clam shells, also vast numbers of spalls, chips, 
rejects and fragmentary implements in various stages of com- 


pletion, a slate charm, pieces of lead, probably brought up from 
Missouri, bones of many kinds of animals, rough tools, etc. Vast 
numbers of pottery fragments and a few entire vessels have also 
been found. Also a copper spear at Spring creek, two large copper 
spuds near Diamond bluff, a small hoe made from a piece of 
rifle barrel deposited in one of the Indian graves where the Red 
Wing Seminary main building stands, and shell beads from the 
same locality. Space forbids a detailed, description of these 
relics. However, a few thoughts suggested by them relative to 
the state of culture, habits, modes of life and occupations of our 
predecessors may be mentioned. Fortified hills, tomahawks, bat- 
tle clubs, spearheads, etc., mean war. Arrows signify war and 
the chase. We do not know what human beings first beheld the 
beautiful hills and valleys of Goodhue county and claimed them 
as their home. We may never be able to look beyond the veil 
or penetrate the mists that enshroud the history of the past, 
yet we are not left in utter darkness. The relics mentioned tell 
us many interesting stories. The absence of great architectural 
ruins show that the mound builders lived in frail homes. The 
dearth of agricultural implements does not spell waving fields of 
golden grain. The ashpits and fireplaces mark the bare ground 
as the aboriginal stove. Net-sinkers imply the use of nets; ice- 
axes the chopping of holes in the ice to procure water, stone 
axes a clumsy device for splitting wood; stone knives for scalp- 
ing, cutting meat, leather and twigs; countless flakes mark the 
ancient arrow maker's workshop; cracked bones show the 
Indian's love for marrow; shell beads, charms and ornaments in 
the shape of fish and other designs reveal a primitive desire for 
ornamentation; chisels and gouges recall the making of canoes; 
sun-dried pottery made of clay mixed with coarse sand, clam 
shells or powdered granite and marked with rows of dots made 
with a stick, thumbnail or other objects, or else marked with 
lines, V-shaped figures or chevrons, all are an index of a rather 
crude state of pottery making. The hand supplied the lathe 
and the wheel. Inasmuch as some of the most ancient remains 
show great similarity to the more recent, we. feel certain that 
no great progress was made by these early inhabitants. A copper 
spear of recent date shows no more signs of smelting than does 
the copper blade that has been much corroded by a great lapse 
of time. Trees hundreds of years old give us at least some 
measure of estimating the age of the contents of the mounds 
on which they stand, and it also means that the mound builder 
lived there several hundred years, if not longer. By such proc- 
esses of reasoning we can learn a good deal of the social, indi- 
vidual and family life of the savage mound builder. 

Besides the mounds previously mentioned, which occur on 


elevated terraces, knolls and bluffs, there is another type of 
mound found in Goodhue county, which differs in several impor- 
tant respects from the former. The first group of mounds may 
he named highland mounds and the others lowland mounds. 
Lowland mounds occur in the town of Stanton, Warsaw and 
Kenyon. They are far more numerous in Dakota and Rice 
counties, where, in the summer of 1907, I located some 1,700. 
For some reason these mounds have hitherto escaped observa- 
tion. Possibly the mound hunter, accustomed to look for mounds 
on highlands, would not expect to find mounds in such localities 
where the lowland mounds occur. 

The following is a brief resume of a paper read before the 
Minnesota State Historical Society at the December meeting in 
1908. The subject of the paper, ''Lowland Mounds in Dakota, 
Rice and Goodhue Counties," reveals where these mounds are 
found and implies that they all belong to the same class and 
are related to each other : 

"In the southern part of Dakota county, particularly in the 
town of Greenvale and the western part of Waterford, is found 
a large number of mounds which, to all outward appearance, are 
Indian mounds. They differ, however, from the well known 
Indian mounds that abound in the Mississippi valley and interior 
parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota in this respect, that they 
are usually situated on low, level, and often wet ground. Mounds 
are usually situated on land that is rather high relative to the 
surrounding topography. For example, the mounds in the 
vicinity of Red Wing, Cannon -Junction, Welch and Diamond 
bluff are, as a rule, situated on terraces that skirt the river, or 
on the brows of prominent bluffs. The mounds found near our 
inland lakes are almost invariably placed well beyond the reach 
of water. The mounds under consideration are located on low, 
often marshy ground. For this reason a person accustomed to 
mound hunting along the Mississippi would easily pass by these 
lowland mounds without paying much attention to them. He 
might think they were curious freaks, chance formations of 
nature. Mounds of this type are also found south of Northfield, 
Rice county; also near Dunclas and south of there along the east 
side of Cannon river. Near Dennison is a large number, par- 
ticularly about one mile west of the town along Prairie creek. 
All these locations are immature water courses that lie on glacial 
■outwash plains or along the Cannon river. The Stanton flats 
contain hundreds of these mounds. On the flats near Farming- 
ton and Castle Rock are found numbers of mounds in similar 
locations. The total number observed and recorded is over 
1,500. The western part of Dakota and Rice counties is strik- 
ingly poor in mounds. One might expect to find a large number 


on the shore of the chain of lakes that occurs there. The absence 
of mounds in this locality is probably due to the fact that this 
is a morainic country made rough and hilly by the ice lobe which 
stood there in times long ago. A few such mounds are also found 
in the toAvn of Warsaw. Goodhue county. They occur in lowland 
tributary to the Stanton flats. The peculiar problem presented 
by these mounds is this : No positive evidence has been found 
by digging into them or by searching the surface of adjacent 
fields that would establish the origin of the mounds as being 
Indian mounds. Hence the question arises: What reasons 
have we to think that these mounds were built by man, and that 
by the prehistoric inhabitants, the Indians? 

"The mounds are either artificial or else they are not artifi- 
cial. If natural forces made them, then geologists ought to 
explain them, since the mounds are an interesting feature in 
the topography of the country. If these mounds are of a natural 
origin, then many other tumuli jotted down as mounds may be 
called in question. However, geology and physical geography 
fail to account for them. The only forces which one might con- 
cieve of as able to make some of the mounds in the location 
under consideration would be springs, the wind, and floods, but 
a knowledge of the distribution of these mounds sets these 
agencies aside as inadequate to form all these mounds in all the 
places where they occur. There are innumerable places where 
mounds ought to have been formed just as easily by nature, but 
no mounds are to be found. 

"The mounds are invariably round; they measure from twenty 
to forty feet across, and are from half a foot to three feet high. 
Occasional specimens may be higher, hence they may form very 
conspicuous objects in the landscape; for example, in the spring 
when the grass has been burned off. 

"People living near the mounds often have various ideas 
as to the origin of the mounds. Some think they are the remains 
of hay stacks ; others think they are gopher hills or ant hills. 
However, hay, when rotting, does not leave a residue of soil, 
sand and stones. The mounds occur in places where no hay ever 
was stacked, for example, in woods, or where water stands the 
year round, making the place wet and soggy. Gophers are occa- 
sionally found burrowing in the mounds, but gophers do not 
live in woods nor in marshes, and where they are found burrow- 
ing in mounds on high land they usually spoil the smooth convex 
outline of the mound with little dirt heaps, giving the mound a 
warty appearance. If gophers build mounds, why did not the 
legions of gophers in Goodhue county build mounds of all sizes 
up to forty feet across and up to four feet high in other parts 


of the county? Similar reasons might be brought up against 
the idea of these earth heaps being ant hills. 

"In no ease were ants found to inhabit these mounds, nor 
do such mounds occur where ants are very numerous. A zoolo- 
gist or botanist would have a hard time to account for the origin 
of these mounds by referring them to the work of animals or 

"These are only a few of the reasons which seem to warrant 
the conclusion that these mounds are not the accumulations of 
geological nor of botanical agencies, and since it is very certain 
that the white man did not build them, there seems to be but 
one other reasonable conclusion to draw, namely, that the 
mounds were built by prehistoric men who for some reason lived 
there either temporarily in the course of years or for longer 
periods of time. 

"The creeks, sloughs and ponds furnished an abundance of 
water. Fuel in great abundance was near at hand. The sloughs 
contained beavers, mink, muskrats and other game. In the 
nearby forests lived the deer in great abundance. Moose and elk 
were also here. Farmers tell of having plowed up bones belong- 
ing to these animals. Of buffalos there is scarcely a trace, if any, 
of their former presence. The only buffalo relic observed was 
a partially decayed horn which I found near the mounds in the 
Greenvale slough. 

"If closer study should prove the mounds to be burial places, 
then they are witnesses both of the large number of Indians 
buried here as well as the much larger population which was 
not honored by a monument of earth. The groups in the vicinity 
of Dennison probably indicate that somewhere between North- 
field and Faribault a trail passed from Cannon river to Prairie 
creek, while the southern end of the Stanton flats served as a 
halting place or station. Traces of such trails still exist. 

"The distribution of the mounds seems to be governed by 
the river courses and their tributaries, and by large flats which 
were either quite free from timber of else full of game. The 
absence of long mounds and the inability to find any traces of 
village sites or Indian relics of any kind seem to point to the 
great antiquity of these mounds, or else to warrant the view 
that with Red Wing, Spring Creek, Cannon Junction, Welch and 
other places along the Mississippi as headquarters, the Indians 
followed the water courses in temporary quest of game. They 
went along the Cannon to Faribault, Cannon lake, and very likely 
from there south into Steele, Mower and Freeborn counties. At 
least some mounds are found here and there in these counties, 
but, next to the Mississippi, the valley of the Cannon seems to 


have been the most favored of valleys as a route of travel, but 
Red Wing and vicinity for permanent villages. 

"In the absence of any better explanation, we may tentatively 
accept the hypothesis that these mounds belong to the province 
of archeology, and that the larger valleys and their water 
courses have played a large role in the distribution of the mounds. 
The distribution of the mounds along these water courses is 
such that the law of arrangement governing them is in perfect 
harmony with the law governing the general arrangement of 
mounds along waterways in other parts of the county, where we 
know that Indians lived and built mounds. 

"'If these deductions are true, then the seemingly unsolved 
problem of this singular type of mound finds its solution in the 
conclusion that these mounds are the products of human activity 
in prehistoric times. Thus they will form another link in Min- 
nesota archaeology that will undoubtedly reward further study 
and possibly help to lift the veil that hangs over the past history 
of our state's aboriginal inhabitants and their mode of life. It 
unexpectedly shows that Indians built mounds in low lands as 
well as on higher lands. 

'But if it should ever be shown that these mounds are not 
the toiuhs or camping places of a departed race, then they ought 
to be accorded a place in that science whose province it will be 
to explain them." 

Warren Upham, secretary of the society, and well known for 
his writings on glacial questions, suggests that these mounds are 
of very ancient origin, dating back to the time of the glacier's 
recession or a little later. The lapse of so long a time would 
account for the disappearance of all human remains. In Septem- 
ber, 1908, Prof. X. Winchell hired men and had a number of these 
mounds trenched. Despite the very careful work and search, our 
hopes of establishing beyond a doubt the artificial origin of the 
mounds by means of exhumed relics were frustrated. AYe spent 
three days at this work. 

The southern part of the county still requires careful explora- 
tion. In the following townships the writer was unable to find 
any mounds : Vasa, Cannon Falls, Leon, Wanamingo, and Min- 
neola. Very likely some mounds will be found along the forks 
of the Zumbro. A few were seen near Kenyon. Warsaw has 
ten on section 8, and others near Dennison. Florence has a nice 
group on the terrace near the mouth of Wells creek. The inability 
to report fully on all townships is pardonable when it is remem- 
bered that it requires much time and thousands of miles of travel 
to visit and carefully examine a large county and do it at one's 
own expense. — Edward William Schmidt. 

nmc Li, 


« L 

_ ajsam 



/Aju>-0Lv~*-<_ % /5 i &fa-e^ 0td~rT- 


Theodore B. Sheldon is a name that will always be remem- 
bered in Red Wing for what he accomplished during his long 
life here, as well as for the beautiful T. B. Sheldon Auditorium, 
which was built with the money which he left to be expended 
for the good of Red Wing. He was born January 31, 1820, at 
Bernardston, Franklin county, Massachusetts, not far from the 
village of Northfield, made famous by the evangelist, D. L. 
Moody. He received a common school education in the schools 
of his neighborhood, and at the age of twelve began work in a 
woolen mill in Greenfield. Mass., where he remained until 1840, 
when he entered the employ of a cutlery manufacturer. In this 
business he remained three years and then went to Springfield, 
Mass., where he obtained a situation with a tool and lock manu- 
facturing company. Two years later he removed to Whitney- 
ville, Conn., where he worked in a gun and rifle factory two 
years, later taking up similar work for a similar period in 
Windsor. Vt. He arrived in Red Wing in the autumn of 1856 
and went into partnership with Jesse Mclntire in the mercantile 
business. In 1860 he sold out to his partner and in the fall of 
that year built a warehouse and went into the grain business. 
Shortly afterward he took his clerk, E. H. Blodgett, as a partner, 
this arrangement continuing until Mr. Sheldon's death. Mr. 
Sheldon was identified with most of the leading enterprises- 
of Red Wing. In the early days he represented the steamboat 
lines and express companies doing business here, and was also 
agent for the Milwaukee road until the line was completed from 
St. Paul to La Crosse. He was largely interested in the First 
National and Goodhue County banks, being president of the 
former and vice president of the latter. He was president of 
the Goodhue County Savings bank, conducted in connection 
with the latter institution. He was also president of the Red 
Wing & Trenton Transit Company when that company was 
organized for the purpose of operating a ferry across the river 
and a road over the island. In this capacity he continued until 
within a short time of his death. Mr. Sheldon was one of the 
prime movers in the Minnesota Stoneware Company, and also 
in the Red Wing Gas, Light & Power Company, the Red Wing 
Furniture Company, and the Duluth, Red Wing & Southern 
Railway Company. His business capacity was recognized by his 
election as president of all these companies. He was vice presi- 
dent of the La Grange mills, and the Red Wing, Duluth & Sioux 
City Construction Company. He was also associated with various 
other enterprises as stockholder or director. He served as one 
of the supervisors of Red Wing while the township organization 
was still in force, and after the organization of the city was a 
member of the council. In politics he was a Democrat, and his 


church affiliations were with the Episcopal faith. Of him it has 
well been said, "He was a striking type of the practical self- 
made man, and his success in life was due to his energy, honesty, 
foresight and fine business ability. His death was lamented by 
a community in which every man, woman and child was his 
friend." Mr. Sheldon died April 3, 1900, at the age of eighty 
years. T. B. Sheldon was married in 1818 to Mary T. Sturtevant, 
of Hartland, Vt. Five children were born to them, all of whom 
died. Mrs. Mary Sheldon died in November, 1891. In June, 1893, 
Mr. Sheldon married, at Milwaukee, ~SVis., to Annie L. Langton, 
who recently died. She was one of the committee with E. H. 
Blodgett and F. Buseh named in the will to determine how the 
bequest of her husband should be spent to best benefit the city, 
and many of the artistic features of the Auditorium are the fruits 
of her suggestions. 



Possession by Indians — The Dakotas — Traditions and Opinions — 
Col. Colville's Views— Origin of Name "Red Wing"— The 
Raidsson-Groseillers Allegations — No Proof that These Men 
Ever Saw Goodhue County — Hennepin Lands at Red Wing's 
Village — Duluth Passes the Village — LeSueur at Prairie 
Island — Fort Beauharnois and Its Successors — Carver Passes 
Through Wisconsin Channel — Pike and His Narrative — 
. Meets Red Wing and Calls Him by His English Name — 
Leavenworth — First Steamers — Denton and Gavin — Aiton 
and Hancock — Tribute to Rev. Hancock — Early Schooling-— 
The Pioneers Arrive — By Dr. W. M. Sweney. 

Through how many ages the Indians flourished in this county 
is a question that will never be satisfactorily settled. At any 
event, the white men found here a band of Indians whose ances- 
tors, according to their tribal traditions, had occupied the land 
for ages, and had for headquarters, "Hem-minne-cha," which is 
now known as Cannon Junction, with straggling villages extend- 
ing in every direction within a radius of six miles. The villages 
of the Sioux Indians were usually found situated near a collec- 
tion of earth mounds ; but there' are no well authenticated ac- 
counts of the Indians found there by the early explorer, having 
practiced to any great extent mound burial, but they did follow 
the custom of scaffold burial, as was noticed by Hennepin at 
Prescott Point, at the mouth of the St. Croix in 1680. This prac- 
tice I have myself seen in Red AVing. a great many times. Such 
flint, stone, bone and copper implements, and rude pottery, as 
were found to be in general use in the hands of the Indians, when 
first visited by the whites, are usually found at the bottom of a 
mound when excavated, yet the natives had no traditions as to 
who were the makers of the artifacts, or who were the builders 
of the mounds. Within a radius of six miles from Cannon Juncr 
tion I have located, mapped and charted over four thousand In- 
dian burial mounds, earthworks, stone cairns, etc., showing con- 
clusively that this region must have been inhabited for many 
ages. I can show today an oak stump standing on top of a burial 



mound that lias in evidence 250 concentric rings, indicating that 
it "was 250 years ago when the acorn which grew into the tree 
was planted in the mound. How long had the mound been built ? 
The prevailing opinion of writers of recent date, who have made 
Indian mounds of this region a study, is that the ancestors of the 
Indians found inhabiting these parts at the time it was first vis- 
ited by Europeans, were the creators of these earthworks. From 
time immemorial this locality has been known as Hem-minne-cha 
(Hill, water, wood). Franqueline published in Paris, in 166-4, 
a map of this country, and located an Indian village at what is 
now known as Cannon Junction, and called it by the name of 
"Remnica." Franqueline received his information probably from 
Hennepin, as that explorer had returned to France and published 
his book about that time. "While I have not been asked to con- 
tribute an article on archaeology, yet it may not be out of place 
for me to add a few words on the very interesting subject. My 
father, some years ago, writing on the subject, stated that the 
builders of the mounds, or the people who inhabited this country 
before the Dakotas. must have been a more civilized and peaceful 
race than the Sioux, as no warlike implements were found. Since 
the above was written by my father I have found in this im- 
mediate vicinity thousands of flint and stone arrows and spear 
heads, stone axes, and clubs, without number. The general opin- 
ion, I think, prevails, that the art of chipping flint and stone im- 
plements is a lost one; but as there are a number of descriptions 
in print, written by persons who have witnessed the operation, 
I will give a description or two. Catlin's description of Apache 
mode of making flint arrow points: "This operation is very 
curious, both the holder and the striker singing, and the strokes 
of the mallet, given exactly in time with the music, and with a 
short and rebounding blow, in which, the Indians tell us, is the 
great medicine of the operation." Admiral L. E. Belcher gives an 
account of flint arrow head making by western Eskimo tribes. 
Schoolcraft describes the mode of making flint arrow heads by 
North American Indians. John Smith describes the making of 
arrow points by Virginia Indians. "His arrow head he quickly 
maketh with a little bone, which he ever weareth at his brace, of 
a splint of a stone or glass, in the form of a heart and these they 
glue to the end of their arrows." 

I have made the statement at the beginning of this article 
that it could never be known how many ages the Indians had 
flourished in this country, and now add the opinions of others. 
Many writers in the past, and a few at the present time, speak 
of the Mound Builders as a vanished race and declare that the 
skeletons found buried in the mounds denote that they were 
giants in stature. Marquis De Nadaillac, in "Prehistoric Amer- 


ica," pages L13-154, says: ''The new school, with such scholars 
at its head as Brinton, Cyrus Thomas, Powell and Carr, hold 
that the presenl Indians are the descendants of the Mound Build- 
ers." John Gmeiner, pastor of the Church of St. Raphael, 
Springfield, Minn.. January 10, 1908, in "Acta et Dicta," pub- 
lished by the St. Paul Catholics' Historical Society, July, 1908, 
page 221-222. says: "The Dakota confederation consisted of a 
number of tribes whose ancestors must have been originally 
united in one tribe, for they spoke dialects of the same language." 
About 800 years ago seven tribes, the Omaha, Ooehenonpa, Minn- 
ikannazo, Ttazipco, Licanga, Hunkpapa, and Yanktonnen, united 
to form the Dakota confederation. The very name implies this. 
It means "allied nations." The name Sioux was unknown to 
them; it is a corruption of an Ojibwa word, meaning enemies, as 
the Dakotas and Ojibwas were continually at war. The Dakota 
confederation gradually increased until it included forty-two 
tribes and extended far beyond the limits of our present state. 

The Dakotas entered Minnesota and Wisconsin about the be- 
ginning of their confederation. Father Craft writes: 'It is 
quite certain they were near Lake Michigan 800 years ago, as they 
met there Eric Upsi, Bishop of Greenland, who had come there- 
from Vineland about 1121." It is certainly a most interesting 
and surprising fact to find the long-lost, zealous Norse bishop 
finally reappear in the ancient traditions of the Dakotas. Any 
one desirous of reading more about Bishop Eric Upsi, or Gnup- 
son, may consult P. De Roo, "History of America Before Colum- 
bus," Philadelphia and London, 1900, vol. 88, pp. 174-282. No 
doubt Eric Upsi came to the western shores of Lake Michigan 
by way of the St. Lawrence river and the Great Lakes. Accord- 
ing to Humboldt, the Norsemen had some of their principal set- 
tlements at the mouth of the St. Lawrence river, and it was 
quite natural for them to follow that great waterway to its 
sources, as the French did at a later period. The following ap- 
peared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press September 7, 1909 : 

" 'Eight Swedes and twenty-two Norwegians upon a journey 
of discovery from Vineland, Nova Scotia, westward. We had a 
camp of two skerries (rocks in water) one day's journey from 
this stone. "We were out fishing one day. When we returned home 
we found ten men red with blood and dead. Ave Maria. Save us 
from evil. We have ten men by the sea to look after our vessel. 
forty-one (?) days' journey from this island. Year 1362.' This 
legend, cut in Runic characters on the Kensington stone now on 
exhibition at the Swedish village at the fair grounds, the genuine- 
ness of which seems to have involved in dispute many of the pio- 
neer Scandinavians in Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin. Some 


doubt the story of the finding of the stone. According to affidavits 
in possession of H. R. H. Holand, curator of the Sons of Norway, 
Ephrain, AVis., the stone was found under a gigantic tree at 
Kensington, Minn., by Pehr Oman while he was grubbing stumps. 
However, it was at one time on exhibition at Chicago and was 
declared to be a fake. At the exposition at Stockholm, Sweden, 
where the Runic lettering was translated by some of the best 
scholars in Sweden, it was claimed that there can be no doubt 
as to its authenticity. Arthur- G. Thomas, of Chicago, manager 
of the Swedish village, said yesterday that in his opinion the 
proof of the finding of the stone is conclusive." The above may, 
as some claim, be a fake; but investigate, and if in time to come 
it is entitled to credence, it may perhaps be the means of shedding 
light on some of our ancient history that is very confusing. On 
the other hand, if it proves to be spurious, brand it as such, in 
a manner so as to cause the perpetrators of fakes of this nature, 
to be more careful in the future. The finding of this stone is not 
more remarkable or singular than the finding of the Rosetta 
stone in 1799, by some Egyptian fishermen, who in drawing a 
seine in the river Nile brought to shore in their nets a curiously 
engraved stone, which on investigation by students proved to be 
the key by which the import of the hieroglyphics and writings 
carved within the great Pyramids of Sheops was made known 
to the world. Some of the information given to the world through 
the assistance of this remarkable relic, is, that these pyramids in 
question were begun by the builders 2170 years before the Chris- 
tian era, and they stand today the greatest structure ever reared 
by the hand of man. 

Following is an article written by Lucien Carr, entitled "The 
Mounds of the Mississippi A T alley Historically Considered," which 
appeared in 'Memoirs of the Kentucky Geological Survey," Vol. 
11, 1183; N. S. Shaler, Director. In a paper upon the "Prehis- 
toric Remains of Kentucky," published in the first volume of 
these memoirs, I have expressed the opinion that it was impossible 
to distinguish between a series of stone implements taken from 
the Mounds in the Mississippi valley and a similar series made 
and used by the Modern Indians. In fact, so alike are these ob- 
jects in conception and execution that any attempt to distinguish 
them, based upon form or finish, must be but the merest guess- 
work. From the rude knife to the carved and polished "Groget," 
they may, one and all, have been taken from the inmost recesses 
of a mound or picked upon the surface amid the debris of a 
recent Indian village, and the most experienced archaeologist, 
if called upon to decide as to their origin, would have to acknowl- 
edge himself at fault. Nor does the similarity stop with objects 
made of stone. On the contrary, it is believed to extend to all 


articles, of every kind whatsoever, that have thus far been taken 
from the mounds. Indeed, I might even go further, and as the 
result of some years of work, as well in the field as in the library, 
venture the assertion that not only has there not as yet been any- 
thing taken from the mounds indicating a higher stage of de- 
velopment than the red Indian of the United States is known to 
have reached, but that even the mounds themselves, and under 
this head are included all the earthworks of the Mississippi val- 
ley, were quite within the limits of his efforts. All that I intend 
to assert is, that, admitting everything that can be reasonably 
claimed by the most enthusiastic advocate of the superior civiliza- 
tion of the Mound Builders, there is no reason why the red In- 
dians, of the Mississippi valley, judging from what we know, 
historically, of their development, could not have thrown up these 
works. This proposition is not as complete as could be desired, 
and yet it probably embodies all that can ever be proven on this 

I quote from Marquis de Nadaillac's article, "The Unity of 
the Human Species," pp. 1-2. The arrow heads of the Dakota, 
Apache, and Comanche Indians show curious resemblance to those 
discovered on the borders of the Seine and Thames ; the nuclei 
of Scandinavia compare w r ell with those of Mexico, and if one 
exchange the hatchets or the knives of flint from Europe with 
similar objects from America it is difficult for even experts to 
separate them, however well they may be versed in petrograph 
and prehistoric archaeology, and it will be extremely difficult to 
distinguish the races to which they belong. Pottery from widely 
separated regions is made in the same form and by the same 
processes of fabrication, and even with the same ornamentation. 
The spindle whorls in stone, bone and pottery, found in settle- 
ments succeeding each other on the hills of Hissarlik, recall those 
of the Swiss lake dwellings. Those of Peru, Mexico, and* even 
those in present use among the Navajos. are the same as in our 
museums, whether they come from Italy, Germany, the south of 
France, or the north of Scandinavia." 

Thomas La Blanc, a half-breed Sioux, has told of the separa- 
tion of the bands of Wacoota, Bed Wing and "Wabasha, in the 
vivid terms of Indian tradition. While this narrative, containing 
a story of the forceful removal of a mountain, must be regarded 
as fanciful, it is doubtless as near the truth as anything else, in 
which we have only tradition to rely upon. After telling of a 
general war,, after which Wacoota, whom he describes as a young 
libertine, was made chief, La Blanc says, in "Bunnell's History 
of Winona County": 

"Wah-cou-ta was left at his newly-selected camp-ground 
at Kaposia, while an older chief, afterward called Rem-na-chee, 


from the place where he settled, "went on down to the site of the 
modern city of Red Wing, where game of all kinds, fish included, 
were found in great abundance. Here there seemed nothing lack- 
ing to their perfect happiness, and they lived for a great length 
of time, intermarrying like some families in Europe, until another 
chief, who might be styled the first of the name of Wah-pa-sha 
or his progenitor, drew attention to the efficiency of some of the 
warriors who could not complete the trail of the sun dance and 
bear dance and had been compelled to assume the garb and occu- 
pation of women, as was the custom among the Sioux. He also 
referred to the increasing number of skeletons they were com- 
pelled to place in their ossuaries on Barn and other bluffs in the 
neighborhood and ended by declaring that new alliances should 
be made with more vigorous tribes, and the customs of other In- 
dians, now extinct, should be strictly enforced. 

"It so happened that one of his own daughters was in ex- 
pectation of an alliance with Chaska, a brave of great repute, 
eldest son of a chief, but the talk of Wah-pa-sha had so impressed 
him that without saying anything of his purpose, he had started 
off as if for a hunt, but in reality to see and espouse the daughter 
of Yellow Thunder, a noted Winnebago chief, who. though of 
Dah-ko-tah origin, was very far removed from the original stock. 
Chaska 's absence was iirst noticed by his charming bride, who, 
jealous of his absence, complained to her father. Upon inquiry, 
it was found that the teachings of Wah-pa-sha had driven the 
young man away, but not to be baffled, the young girl, proving to 
the high priest her virginity, he was at once able to call good 
spirits to her aid. At first Rem-ne-chee and Wah-pa-sha had 
taken sides, one dor the son, the other for the daughter. Neither 
chief desired bloodshed, but old-time prejudices and customs are 
stronger than the authority of any chief, unless he has well- 
tested persona] bravery to enforce his commands. This seemed 
Lacking in the older chief, Rem-ne-chee, and bows were being 
strung and spears pointed, when the power of the secret incanta- 
tions of the priest burst forth in vivid flashes of lightning, the 
earth trembled and then all was enveloped in darkness most 
profound; while the Indians in affright cast themselves upon 
the ground, where they remained chanting their death-songs in 
expectation of destruction. But lo ! light again appeared, and 
those mi Red Wing found that a part of their possessions, includ- 
ing the dome-shaped peak and part of the Barn bluff ossuary, 
had disappeared, and during the seismic strife, Wah-pa-sha the 
elder, and part of his band, had also been torn from Remnechee's 
turbulent followers. Witch-e-ain, the virgin, had been left behind, 
but calling to the spokesman of the band for aid, she soon assem- 
bled a few young braves, who. in devotion to her father, and in 


admiration of her purpose, declared that they would not only find 
the truant lover, but they would also recover their lost territory, 
which they naturally supposed must have been transported, with 
the direction of the wind, clown the Mississippi. Believing this, 
they started down in a canoe. With the keen sight of Indians, 
they discovered fragments of their lost possessions at the present 
site of Wabasha ; but it would not be possible to explain their 
reasons for believing this, without a faith in their medicine 
charms, so we will pass on. 

"At the site of Winona they were overjoyed to see, as they 
approached the landing, the exact counterpart of their sacred 
dome at Bed Wing. It had been rent in twain, it is true, but the 
attrition of transportation had modeled it into a beautiful cap, 
not unlike the Scotch or Canadian cap of old, and standing in 
front as though in a mirage, his tall form outstretching almost 
to top of cliff, was the lost chief once more in possession of the 
lost cliff, which he declared should be his cap for all future 
time. Its beautiful form, garlanded with cedar, would have re- 
mained the admiration of all beholders until this time, but for 
Mammon, a most powerful modern god, more powerful by far 
than any known to the Dakotas. 

'Leaving the chief to recover from his dazed condition, and 
assemble his scattered family on a site he selected for himself 
on what became known as Burn's creek, the anxious maiden 
with her young braves pursued her way down the river. They 
soon came in sight of one of their lost mountains, which became 
known to the whole Dakota tribe, when they had heard of the 
wonder, as Fah-ha-dah (the moving mountain), but to the Winne- 
bagoes, who, in approaching it in canoes on the east side, found 
it surrounded by water, it was known as Hay-nee-ah-chah, or 
Soaking Mountain. The pursuing party stopped but a moment 
at Pah-ha-dah, or Trempeauleau, for just below they saw a short 
range of isolated bluffs, which they felt sure were taken from 
the upper portion of the range of what is modernly known as 
Barn bluff. The vacant space below Bed Wing, they argued, 
justified their conclusion. But they were about to land for exam- 
ination, and perhaps for some slight refreshment, when their ears 
were assailed by the most persistent rattling of numerous rattle- 
snakes, of sin-tah-dah, they had ever heard. Upon inquiry they 
found that the bluffs were really a part of their old possessions, 
but that the remains of their ancestors should not again be dis- 
turbed from the mounds and ossuaries on the ridge, but be held 
sacred for all time. The snakes were magically sent by the good 
high priest, with the bluffs, to protect the remains from desecra- 

The Omahas and Towas wore driven out of this state and beyond 


the Missouri, mainly in one campaign led by Red Wing and 
"Wapasha. The Menominees were privy to the plans of the Sioux, 
but took no part in the war ; perhaps furnished canoes and horses. 
The Sioux marched by the headwaters of the St. Croix and Chip- 
pewas, down the Wisconsin, beginning the attack at McGregor. 
The Y-hanktons reinforced them on the upper course of the 
Minnesota. The Sioux undertook this war for the purpose of set- 
tlement in the country which they had always claimed to own 
since the expulsion of the Assinniboines. It was after Wapasha 
had received his red cap and commission as head chief of the 

Colonel AYilliam Colville once wrote: " Wapasha 's title as 
head chief not being allowed by Red Wing, Wapasha removed 
with the greater part of his band to Winona. Red Wing's 
titular name was Wacouta — 'The Shooter.' This was always 
the head chief 's title — the same as that of the chief who captured 
Hennepin, lie had the name of Red Wing, Koo-poodioo-sha, from 
the swan's wing, which he dyed scarlet and carried. Wapahasha 
had his name from his red "coupe stick," which was wound with 
scarlet ribbons and surmounted by a white horse tail, dyed a bril- 
liant red. This lie used to signal and direct his warriors in 
battle, sometimes as a standard to rally them. 

'Red Wing and his contemporaries here retained their old 
custom of mound burial, such as is described by Carver in his 
account of the cave at St. Paul. His spring and summer camp 
was along the west bank of Jordan stream in this place. The 
Indians called the stream Cold Water creek. The upper end of 
the camp was ;i little above Main street. There was an oak grove 
a short distance behind the camp on slightly higher ground, and 
commanding a broad view of the river scenery. In this grove 
were a number of mounds when I came here — 1854 — mostly of 
small size, one conspicuous, over twenty feet across and three feet 
high. It was ;it the southwest corner of Main and Broadway 
crossing. In grading the street this was leveled, and along with 
very badly decayed bones was found a Jefferson medal of the 
year 1801. After Red Wing's time the Indians coffined and 
buried the dead same as the whites. 

Big Buffalo, his successor, was so coffined and buried, about 
1820. Now Lieutenant Pike, on his return from the source of the 
Mississippi in 1806, stopped two days with Red Wing at this 
camp, and was very hospitably entertained. On his way down 
he had been reminded by Little Crow, at the mouth of the St. 
Croix, of his promised medals, promised at the treaty of the fall 
before at Pike Island. One of the head men of Red Wing's band 
signed that treaty; Red Wing, from old age, was not present. 
Red Wing was friendly to the Americans; AVapahasha had his 


commission from the British. This was talked over. Altogether, 
if anyone was entitled, Red AYing was, to one of the medals. Of 
course, Pike's promises were sacredly kept. It is no objection 
that the date is 1801, as it was the custom to strike the medal the 
first year of the new administration and the die was preserved 
until another president took his seat. Big Buffalo's was a Madi- 
son medal of the year 1809, but which he could not have received 
until 1816, for he fought with the British in 1812-15, and sur- 
rendered his old medal, if he had one, to them on receiving their 
flag. Big Buffalo was originally buried at the corner of Main 
and Plum streets, and when the town was laid out was removed 
to College Bluff, and about 1870 his medal was stolen from the 
grave and fell into the hands of a stranger, to whom it is worth- 
less, and is lost to us. 

"The Jefferson medal is now held by Mrs. Frank Sterritt, of 
Merriam Park, in trust for our Red Wing Library Association. I 
think the above facts make a good case for it, as having in very 
deed been worn by Red Wing." 

The titles Hoo-pa-hoo-doo-ta (Wing of Scarlet), now rendered 
Red Wing; Wapashaw (Red War Banner), now rendered Wa- 
basha, and Wa-coo-tay (Leaf Shooter), rendered in French Ocha- 
gach and now called AVacoota, probably have a common origin, 
and weye evidently used interchangably by the early writers to 
describe whatever chief they found at the head of the bands in 
this vicinity. The particular chief of the Goodhue county band 
of whom we know the most, with the exception of AVacoota, whom 
the white settlers of 1848-53 found here, is the Aile Rouge 
described by Pike and Hennepin. The Dakota Indians who now 
reside on Prairie Island still speak of Red AVing as Ilupa-hu-sha, 
meaning wing of red. 

The question as to the first white man who ever set foot on the 
soil of this county is no less a matter of conjecture. Traders or 
soldiers of fortune may have wandered to this locality, but the 
first white man of whom we have any reliable record as to his 
presence here is Father Louis Hennepin, an explorer and Fran- 
ciscan monk, in 1680. 

This statement is made with a full knowledge of the allega- 
tions advanced by AVarren Upham, of the State Historical Society, 
that Radisson and Groseilliers wintered on Prairie Island in 
1654-55 and were consequently the first white men in Minnesota. 
In this contention, Mr. Upham is unsupported by any reliable 
historian, and his own earlier writings successfully refute his 
present arguments. Peter (or Pierre) Esprit Radisson and Me- 
clard Chouart, better known as Sieur de Groseilliers (The Goose- 
berry), were early explorers around the Great Lakes, and the 
former, after being discredited by France, wrote an extensive 


account, largely fictitious, of his adventures, for the purpose of 
interesting English parties to join in forming what later became 
the Hudson Bay Company, for the exploitation of America. This 
manuscript, long forgotten, was rescued in part (some of it hav- 
ing been sold for wrapping paper) and published by the Prince 
Society in 1885. In this narrative Radisson claims to have visited 
nearly every portion of America and to have discovered a pas- 
sage way to the Pacific ocean. If the remainder of the manu- 
script could have been procured I have no doubt that it would be 
learned that Radisson built an air ship and ascended to Mars, and 
even reached the North Pole, thereby robbing those two distin- 
guished Americans. Cook and Peary, of the honor of being the 
first to actually discover the Great Nail. Mr. Upham himself 
acknowledges that the manuscript is largely fictitious, but picks 
out tin 1 part which he claims to refer to Prairie Island and stamps 
that with the approval of truth while the other parts are charac- 
terized by the same authority as apparent fiction, vaguely and 
blunderingly told. The part of the manuscript which is alleged 
to refer to Minnesota, and the contention that Radisson and Gro- 
seilliers were the first white men in Minnesota, is best described 
in Mr. Upham 's own words. 

He says: "When we come to his (Radisson 's) account of that 
next year (1855), following the apparent fiction so vaguely and 
blunderingly told, he resumes his accustomed definiteness of 
details, telling us that in the early spring, before the snow and 
ice were gone, which forbade the use of canoes, these two French- 
men, with about one hundred and fifty men and women of the 
native tribes, traveled almost fifty leagues on snow shoes, coming 
to a river side where they spent three weeks in making boats. 
This journey was. if I rightly identify it, from the vicinity of 
Green bay, in eastern Wisconsin, across that state to the Missis- 
sippi, reaching this river near the southeast corner of Minnesota, 
or somewhat further south, perhaps coming by a route not far 
from the canoe route of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers. Thence 
they voyaged eight days up the river on which their boats had 
been made, to villages of two tribes, probably in the vicinity of 
Winona, where they obtained meal and corn, which supplied this 
large company until they 'came to the first landing isle.' 

"The description indicates that the voyagers passed along 
Lake Pepin and upward to the large Isle Pelee (or Bald Island), 
now called Prairie Island, on the Minnesota side of the main river 
channel above Red Wing. On this island, which derived its 
names, both in French and English, from its being mostly a 
prairie, a large number of Huron s and Ottawas, fleeing from their 
enemies, the Iroquois, had recently taken refuge, and had begun 
the cultivation of corn. Their harvest the preceding year, in 


newly worked land, was small; but much corn would be needed 
for food duriug the loug journey thence to Quebec with beaver 
skins, which canoe voyage, requiring a month or more, Groseil- 
liers and Radisson wished to begin soon after their arrival on the 
island. They were obliged to remain till the next year, and Gro- 
seilliers spent the summer on Prairie Island and in its vicinity, 
one of his chief objects being to provide a large supply of corn 
for the return journey. Meanwhile Radisson went with hunting 
parties, and traveled four months 'without doing anything but go 
from river to river.' He w T as enamored of the beauty and fer- 
tility of the country and was astonished at its herds of buffaloes 
and antelopes, flocks of pelicans and the shovel-nosed sturgeon, 
all of which he particularly described. Such was the first year, 
1655, of observations and exploration by white men in Minnesota 
and their earliest navigation of the upper part of the Mississippi 
river. Accompanied by several hundred Hurons and other Algon- 
quins. and carrying a most welcome freight of furs, Groseilliers 
and Radisson returned to Montreal and Quebec in August, 1656. 
Their stay on Prairie Island covered the period from April or 
May, 1655, to June, 1656, about fourteen months." 

Such is the new page which Mr. Upham would write on the 
pages of AVisconsin and Minnesota history, and in honor of which 
he would erect a monument on Prairie Island. While I person- 
ally would be very much pleased to have this region honored with 
a marble shaft as being the spot upon which the first white men 
in the state firs,t set foot, in view of the uncertainty and grave 
doubts I do not feel as though one should be erected to perpetu- 
ate a scarcely probable incident, when there are so many well 
authenticated and important events which actually happened 
within the borders of this county in the early days that could be 
so honored. To my mind there are several facts which preclude 
the possibility of this early settlement by two Frenchmen and a 
party of Hurons on Prairie Island for a long period of fourteen 
months. Briefly, the objections are as follows : 

The reputation given Radisson for veracity by such a distin- 
guished investigater as Mr. Upham is sufficient to cause us to 
view the writer's narrative with suspicion. I quote Mr. Upham 
in 'First White Men in Minnesota" (page 2). Speaking of 
Radisson he says: 'His narration, besides being very uncouth 
in style, is exceedingly deficient in dates, sometimes negligent as 
to the sequence of events, and even here and there discordant and 
demonstrably untruthful." Mr. Upham 's opinion of Radisson 's 
descriptive powers, as found on page 11 of the above work, is 
this: 'Lake Michigan, with its surrounding forests and prairies 
and Indian tribes, appeared even more fascinating to Radisson 's 
enraptured vision. He wrote of it in an ecstasy." Radisson must 


have lost power of his "enraptured vision" before he reached this 
locality, for there is no description in the entire narrative that in 
any way describes the scenery along the Mississippi from the 
mouth of the Wisconsin to Prairie Island. I do not know of a 
single early voyager who has left any written record of his travel 
in this region that has not gone into ecstasies over the beautiful 
panoramic views ever presenting to his vision as he was paddled 
up the river in the vicinity of Lake Pepin. If Radisson had 
remained on Prairie Island fourteen months he surely would have 
seen Barn Bluff many times, and if he did see it and not mention 
it he cannot hope for forgiveness. 

In March, 1660, Radisson did not understand the Dakota lan- 
guage. On page 45 of his work, Mr. Upham says: "The next 
morning, in March, 1660, they were called by an interpretor. "We 
understood not a word of their language, being quite contrary to 
those that we were with." Jean Nicollet discovered Green Bay, 
Wisconsin, in the year 1634, and reported a wild tribe of Indians 
in this region which he calls the Nandusin (Sioux). Hennepin 
found the Sioux here in 1680. Le Sueur lived with them on 
Prairie Island 1695, and, from Indian tradition, their ancestors 
had made Prairie Island their home for ages before Radisson 
was born. Now we are asked to accept as an historical fact that 
Radisson spent fourteen months on Prairie Island and never 
heard the Dakota tongue spoken, and that the first time he did 
hear it was in March, 1660. in the northern part of the state. 

I do not intend to burden the reader with my views on this 
Radisson matter at this time, for in my opinion the facts are not 
sufficiently historical to warrant the great publicity already given 
by the Minnesota Historical Society to what some of our most 
able writers on early explorations consider as "pure romance." 
The claims made by Mr. Upham are being so persistently forced 
onto the citizens of this state that they will soon be accepted as 
an historical fact, without someone call a halt and ask for a more 
thorough investigation, and I regret very much that someone 
more competent than myself has not felt it his duty to ask for 
more light on this very important subject. As this Radisson mat- 
ter is a subject of local interest to the people of Goodhue county, 
and as I have been asked to contribute a chapter on early times, 
I will take the opportunity to present some evidence to show that 
Mr. Upham 's position is not well taken. In doing so I will quote 
from Mr. Upham 's own work. "First White Men in Minnesota." 
William Kingsford. The History of Canada. (Toronto, 1887- 
98; ten volumes.) Pages 1-12 and 45-49, in volume III, 1889, 
notice the relation of Groseilliers and Radisson to the beginnings 
of English commerce with the region of Hudson bay. The author 
ignores the narratives of the four land expeditions, ascribed to 


Radisson 's authorship, in the volume published by the Prince 
Society, declaring that part to be "without value" and appar- 
ently "the work of a writer of fiction." 

He says: "It is difficult to find authority for the statement 
put forth of the original discovery of Hudson's Bay by des Gro- 
seilliers and Radisson, on which so much stress has been laid" 
(page 5); and again: "The names of two commonplace adven- 
turers have obtained mention in the chronicles of those days, to 
which they are in no way entitled, from the circumstances that 
they were brought forward by the French, for want of a better 
^ argument to sustain their pretensions to early discovery" 
(page 12). 

Legler, Henry E. 'Leading Events of Wisconsin History." 
(Milwaukee, 1898; pages 322.) The travels of Groseilliers and 
Radisson are noticed in pages 21, 47-51 and 137. Although chap- 
ter II details somewhat fully "The Strange Adventures of Radis- 
son," the routes and dates of the expeditions are not exactly 
stated. Concerning their supposed journeying to the Mississippi 
river, the author thinks that "evidence is lacking to prove the 

Ogg, Frederic Austin. "The Opening of the Mississippi; a 
Struggle for Supremacy in the American Interior. ' ' (New York, 
1904; pages 670.) The far western travels of Groseilliers and 
Radisson are considered in pages 53-56. Their first expedition is 
conjectured to have been in 1654-56, they being the unnamed 
French traders who are mentioned in the Jusuit relation. A sec- 
ond expedition is thought to have been made by Groseilliers in 
1658-59, "trading and exploring on the shores of Lake Superior," 
with return to the St. Lawrence "in the spring of 1659." Next, 
"within a few weeks," Groseilliers and Radisson traveled again 
to Lake Superior, this time exploring the south shore to La Pointe 
and Chequamegon bay, spending the winter in "many excursions 
among the surrounding tribes," and returning to lower Canada in 
the summer of 1660. Groseilliers and other traders are said to 
have made a later expedition to Lake Superior, going in August, 
1660, and returning in 1663. It is thought that they did not reach 
the Mississippi river in any of these expeditions, though coming 
to some of its eastern tributaries. This author makes no refer- 
ence to Radisson 's assertions that they went to the Gulf of Mexico 
and to Hudson bay. 

Neill, Edward D. "Groseilliers and Radisson, the First Ex- 
plorers of Lake Superior and the State of Minnesota." (Maga- 
zine of Western History, volume VII, pages 412-421, February, 
1888.) The following footnote, on page 413, explains why so little 
care was taken to follow the narratives of Radisson in this con- 
fused and unwarrantable account of the expeditions to the region 


of Minnesota: "The journals of Kadisson, published by the 
Prince Society of Boston, in 1885, cannot be trusted for dates, but 
are correct in the description of the customs of the tribes he 
visited." Neill, Edward D. "Wisconsin Historical Society Col- 
lections, volume X, 188, pages 292-297. Accepting the supposed 
chronology of the Prince Society's volume, the first western expe- 
dition is referred to the years 1658-60 and the second to 1662-63 
or 1664. Neill, ' Edward D. Macalaster College Contributions, 
first series, 1890; pages 86-94, 223-224. The expedition to Lake 
Superior, narrated by Radisson, is restricted to about one year, 
in 1659-60 ; and two later expeditions by Groseilliers are noted, 
with return from the last August 5, 1663. Perrot's account of the 
wanderings of the Ilurons and Ottawas is translated; but no sug- 
gestion appears that Radisson 's "first landing isle," not here 
mentioned, Avas their place of refuge, "Prairie Island' (Pelee) 
on the Mississippi. 

McCormick, Hon. Robert Laird. A short letter, dated Decem- 
ber 26, 1902. is published by Hon. J. V. Brower in volume VI of 
his "Memoirs of Explorations in the Basin of the Mississippi," 
1903, page 72. In this letter Mr. McCormick writes: "Histor- 
ical students would welcome further information regarding the 
travels of these two explorers who doubtless saw the upper Mis- 
sissippi years before Joliet and Marquette, but in the absence of 
documentary testimony it is presumption to seriously claim that 
Radisson crossed AVisconsin on snowshoes from Green Bay to the 
Mississippi river in 1651-55." 

Moore, Charles. "The Discovers of Lake Superior." (Publi- 
cations of the Michigan Political Science Association, volume II. 
pages 199-211. Ann Arbor, January, 1897.) The two western 
journeys of Groseilliers and Radisson are referred to 1658-60 and 
1661-63. It is doubted that they saw the Mississippi, but the 
claim of an overland trip to Hudson bay is accepted. The chro- 
nology carefully studied out a year before by Campbell is con- 
sidered and rejected. 

I quote the following from "Memoirs of Exploration in the 
Basin of the Mississippi," volume VI. Minnesota. By J. V. 
Brower: "At the annual meeting of the Minnesota Historical 
Society held at St. Paul, January 13, 1902, AVarren Upham deliv- 
ered an address containing expressions of opinion concerning the 
original discovery of the area of Minnesota by Peter Esprit Rad- 
isson and Medard Chouart in the spring months of 1655. Those 
opinions were placed in writing, ordered printed and were about 
to be adopted as adequate history. Indeed, Mr. Upham was so 
positive concerning the results of his study of Radisson 's narra- 
tives that at page 83, Kathio, announcement was made that Radis- 


son * must be accredited as the discoverer of Minnesota first at 
Prairie Island in 1655,' etc. 

"That statement is erroneous and I now expunge it from my 
volume IV, above mentioned. After a careful investigation of the 
historic record so far as the same is available at St. Paul, I have 
reached what is to me sufficient conclusion that Mr, Upham's 
opinions concerning Radisson's explorations cannot be safely 
accepted or adopted as a part and portion of the history of the 
discovery of Minnesota. Before I proceeded to Prairie Island, 
where I fully expected to discover an extensive Huron Indian vil- 
lage site, Mr. Upham was requested to contribute for the pages 
of this volume on account of the results of his studies concerning 
the original discovery of the area of Minnesota. As soon as it 
was ascertained that no adequate Huron village site comparable 
with the descriptions given by Mr. Upham could be found on 
Prairie Island, he was requested to correct his manuscript to con- 
form to such actual proofs as might be surely ascertained, thereby 
protecting the credibility and accuracy of Minnesota history. Mr. 
Upham has repeatedly and positively refused to comply with that 
reasonable request, incidentally urging that his statement be pub- 
lished herein as originally written. I comply with that request in 
order to review for the benefit of Minnesota history the fallacies 
and inaccuracies which his article contains, similar to the review 
which he has himself extended against the published treatise on 
the same subject by the late Captain Russell Blakely. That man- 
ner of procedure is by me deemed to be the only substantial way 
to guard against some egregious errors which are about to be 
precipitated against the integrity and stability of our state 

'I have failed to discover any substantial declaration, written 
or printed, definitely indicating that Peter Esprit Radisson, who 
was in Europe in the early part of 1654, arrived at or near Fox 
river, "Wisconsin, the same year. His movements during the years 
1654 and 1655, after he arrived in New France from Europe, are 
unknown, unaccounted for and developed in uncertainty and 
obscurity. Any statement declaring that he certainly proceeded 
direct from Europe to Prairie Island between the late spring 
months of 1654 and the early spring of 1655 (conducting a snow- 
shoe voyage across the present area of "Wisconsin as an incidental 
necessity), unsupported by any definite corroborative evidence 
except the vague falsifications contained in the book entitled 
'Radisson's Narratives,' is insufficient historical data upon which 
to base the history of the discovery of Minnesota. The fact that 
two nameless persons proceeded westward from Quebec in 1654 
is not definite corroborative evidence. 

'Does the Minnesota Historical Society propose to force upon 


its sister society at Madison, Wis., as a part of the history of that 
state, an alleged snowshoe voyage urged in the foregoing paper 
as certainly having been made by Radisson and Chouart in 1655 
from Green Bay to the Mississippi ? The historians of that state 
have rejected the proposition and it has been declared to be a 
presumption to force upon them an unwelcome page in their his- 
tory which lacks any confirmation whatsoever of a reliable char- 
acter. The opinion of one writer unsupported by sufficient con- 
firmatory evidence cannot and ought not to unduly influence the 
history of the discovery of the area of Wisconsin and Minnesota, 
especially so in the event that all the facts concerning Radisson 
have not become fully known so that we can advisedly and dis- 
cretely complete our history harmoniously with a neighboring 

From these opinions Mr. Upham reaches the following conclu- 
sion : "In view of the very diverse opinions expressed by the 
many writers cited in the foregoing bibliography, concerning the 
routes and dates of the western expeditions of Groseilliers and 
Radisson, it would certainly be unreasonable for the present 
writer to expect his studies and conclusions, stated in this paper, 
to be accepted without challenge and adverse discussions. It will 
require probably many years for historians to reach a general 
agreement as to the interpretation of Radisson 's uncouth but 
exceedingly interesting narratives of these earliest expeditions to 
the upper Mississippi river (if, indeed, he came there, which some 
deny) and to the area which is now Minnesota. 

"Careful studies of this subject during seven years have led 
me to believe, with full confidence, that the arguments and results 
here presented are true, and that they will ultimately be so 
received by all students of our Northwestern history." This 
appears on the last page of the book entitled "First White Men 
in Minnesota," by Mr. Upham, and appears to me to be in the 
nature of an apology to the readers by the author for having 
asked the public to consider in a serious manner the proposition 
that these two French adventurers were ever within two hundred 
miles of Prairie Island. 

The first European to explore the Mississippi above the mouth 
of the Wisconsin, the first to set foot on the soil of Goodhue 
county, was undoubtedly Father Louis Hennepin, a Franciscan 
priest of the Recollect Order. LaSalle, in February, 1680, had 
erected a fort on an eminence near Lake Peoria, in Illinois, and 
from this point he determined to send an expedition up the Mis- 
sissippi. For this task he selected three of his faithful followers. 
Accordingly, on February 29, Father Hennepin, with two compan- 
ions named Picard du Gay and Michael Accault set out in a canoe 
for the upper Minnesota. On the way they fell in with a band of 


Sioux on the warpath against the Illinois and the Miami nations. 
This party accompanied the Frenchmen up the river, evidently in 
doubt as to whether they should scalp them or treat them as 
friends. On their way up the party slept one night in April or 
May, 1680, at the head of Lake Pepin, near Point La Saub. A 
few leagues up the river, probably about where Red "Wing is now 
located, Hennepin and his party landed. A chief, probably Red 
Wing, went clown to tlie shore, and telling the party to leave 
their canoes, pulled up three piles of grass for seats. Then taking 
a piece of cedar full of little holes he placed a stick into one and 
revolved it between the palms of his hands until he kindled a fire. 
During the meeting the chief informed the Frenchmen that they 
would be at Mille Lacs in six days. According to Hennepin the 
whites were held in captivity; according to Accaidjb they were 
not. At any rate, they went northward with the Indians and 
went to the region of Mille Lacs, where they arrived early in 
May, Permission was then given to Hennepin and Auguelle 
(Pickard) to return in a canoe down the Mississippi to the mouth 
of the Wisconsin, where they hoped to find a reinforcement of 
Frenchmen as well as goods and ammunition. Meantime Accault 
was left with the Indians, possibly as a hostage. On this voyage 
down the river, Hennepin and Pickard again passed the bluffs of 
Goodhue county. Further down the river they w T ere again cap- 
tured, according to Hennepin, and finding no Frenchmen at the 
spot where they hoped, late in July the party of Indians and 
Frenchmen made their way up the Mississippi and met DuLuth 
and several French soldiers who had come from Lake Superior 
by the canoe route of the Brule and St. Croix rivers. They all 
then went back to the Isanti villages near Mille Lacs, where 
DuLuth the previous year had met the Indians in council and 
endeavored to show them what benefits they would receive from 
trading with the French. DuLuth sharply reprimanded the sav- 
ages for their attitude toward Hennepin and his companions, who 
henceforth had no reason to complain of their treatment. In the 
autumn (1681) , on pretense of bringing goods to establish a trad- 
ing post, DuLuth, Hennepin and other Frenchmen were allowed 
to depart. On their journey down the Mississippi they again passed 
Goodhue county, this time with DuLuth and his companions. 
According to Sieur DuLuth, the Indians near the source of Run 
river, this state, near the latter end of September, 1681, held a 
great council, at which Ousicoude (Wacoota), the head chief, 
prepared for them a chart of the route, by the way of the Mis- 
sissippi and Wisconsin, to Green Bay. "Minnesota Historical 
Collections, volume 1, page 316 (note). The name of the chief in 
Dakota was Wazikute (Wah-zee-koo-tay), or the 'Shooter of the 
Pines.' Long's expedition in 1823 met a Dakota at Red Wing 



who bore the same name as the chief alluded to iu the travels of 

Le Sueur had visited Prairie Island and established a trading 
post in 1695, after having' prevailed upon the Dakota and Chip- 
pewa Indians to recognize the island as neutral ground, bury the 
hatchet, and live together in friendly intercourse, for the purpose 
of amusement and trade. 

Of this post. La Harpe, in the introduction of his narrative of 
Le Sueur's mining expedition in 1700. wrote as follows, according 
to Shea's translation: "M. Le Sueur, by order of the Count de 
Frontenac, Governor General of Canada, built a fort on an island 
in the Mississippi, more than 200 leagues above the Illinois, in 
order to effect a peace between the Santeurs nations (Ojibways), 
who dwell qc I lie shores of a hike of five hundred leagues circum- 
ference Lake Superior), one hundred leagues east of the river, 
and the Sioux, posted on the upper Mississippi. The same year, 
according to his orders, he went down to Montreal in Canada with 
a Sauteur chief named Chingouabe and a Sioux named Cioscate 
Tioscate i. who was the first of his nation who had seen Canada." 

Penicaut wrote of Prairie Island, as translated by Hill: "At 
the end of tin- lake (Pepin) yon come to Paid Island, so called 
because there arc no treeson it. It is on this island that the 
French from Canada established their fort and storehouse when 
they come to trade for furs and other merchandise, and they also 
winter here because game is very abundant in the prairies on 
both shores of the river. In the month of September they bring 
their store of meat there procured by hunting, and after having 
skinned and (leaned it. place it upon a sort of raised scaffold near 
the cabin, in order that the extreme cold, which lasts from the 
month of September to the end of March, may hinder it from cor- 
rupting during the winter, which is very severe in that country. 
During the whole winter they do not go out except for water, 
when they have to break the ice every day; and the cabin is gen- 
erally built on the bank, so as not to have to go far. When spring 
arrives the savages come to the island, bringing their merchan- 
dise, which consists id' all kinds of furs, as beaver, otter, marten, 
lynx and many others — the bear skins are generally used to cover 
the canoes of the savages and < 'anadians. There are often savages 
who pillage the French Canadian traders, among others the sav- 
ages of a village composed of the five different nations, and which 
have each their own name: that is. the Sioux, the people of the 
big village; the Mententons, the Mencouacantons. the Ouyates- 
pony and other Sioux of the plains. Three leagues higher up. 
after leaving this island, you meet on the right the river St. 

From Charlevoix, in the third volume of this history of New 


Prance, published in 1744. the following brief description of this 
island is translated: "On going above the lake (Pepin) one 
comes to Isle Pelee, so named because it has not a single tree, but 
is a very beautiful prairie. The French of Canada have often 
made it the center of their trade in these western districts, and 
many have also wintered there, because all this country is excel- 
lent for hunting." 

There have been found on Prairie Island in modern times such 
articles as iron axes of very ancitnl make, "strike-a-light" flint- 
lock guns, pistols, etc., indicating an early occupation by whites 
long previous to the settlement in 1837-53. 

The next occupancy of this county by Europeans was in 1727, 
when Fort Beauharnois was erected. 

Rev. Neill says: "In June, 1727, an expedition left Montreal 
under Rene Boucher, Sieur de la Perriere, to establish a post on 
Lake Pepin. His party, arriving there on September 17 follow- 
ing, built a post, according to Father Guignas, upon the western 
shore of Lake Pepin, about the middle of the north side, on a low 
point where the soil is excellent. We are here on the parallel of 
43 degrees and 41 minutes." Again Xeill says: "Frontenac, in 
Goodhue county, occupied the site of this old fort, and recently a 
four and a six-pound cannon ball were found at the railway sta- 
tion five feet below the surface. It is noteworthy that Sieur La 
Perriere Boucher, the officer in command of the Indians who sur- 
prised Haverhill. Mass.. killed the minister of the town, scalped 
his wife and broke the skull of his child against a rock, and shot 
one Samuel Sibley, said to be a relative of Hon. H. H. Sibley, of 
St. Paul, was the person who established this post at Point au 
Sable of Lake Pepin. A connection of the leader of the expedi- 
tion was the wife of a person named Pepin (Jean Pepin), and 
this may account for the name of the lake. The post was located 
at the Sandy Point, which extends into Lake Pepin opposite 
Maiden's Rock. Boucher built a stockade of pickets twelve feet 
high, forming a square of 100 feet, with two bastions, and called 
the post Fort Beauharnois. in compliment to the governor of 
Canada. On April 15, 1728. the water in the lake was unusually 
high and overflowed the point, so that the log buildings within 
the enclosure were full of water and it was necessary, for two 
weeks, to dwell upon higher ground. The principal trader at the 
post ;it this time was the Sieur de Mont Brun Boucher, a In-other 
of the commandant: and the armorer and blacksmith was Francis 
Campau, a brother of him who settled at Detroit.' and whose 
descendants are so numerous in Michigan. 

"Owing to the hostility of the Renards, or Fox Indians, early 
in October, 1728, the post was left in charge of a young man, the 
Sieur Dutrost Jemeraye. and a few voyagers, while the rest placed 


the goods in canoes, retreated down the Mississippi toward the 
Illinois river and were captured by allies of the Renards. The 
Sieur Jemeraye, early in 1729, abandoned the post, and nothing 
was done toward its re-establishment. In March, 1730, the Sieur 
Marin, a bold officer, moved against and had an engagement of 
the 'warmest character' with the Renards in Wisconsin; and in 
September of the same year another French force attacked them, 
killed many of their warriors and compelled them to escape. 

"After this defeat of the F»xes it was determined to build a 
new post on higher ground, yet in the vicinity of the first stock- 
ade, which had been destroyed. The new commandant was 
Sieur Portneuf. Linctot's son, Campau and several others were 
licensed to trade with the Sioux. Linctot passed the winter of 
1731-32 at 'Mantagne Quitrempe Dans L'eau,' now corrupted to 
Trempealeau, and early in the spring of 1732 proceeded to the 
vicinity of Sandy Point, Lake Pepin, and found at the site of the 
old stockade ;i large number of Sioux awaiting his arrival. Select- 
ing a belter position, he erected a larger post, the pickets enclos- 
ing I2(i let square, and there were four bastions. The Sieur 
Linctot. jti 1733, asked to be relieved, and the able officer, Sieur 
Legardeur St. Pierre, was sent to command. Upon the 6th of 
May. ITMti. St. Pierre was informed by letters from Lake Superior 
of the dreadful massacre of twenty-one Frenchmen on an island 
in the Lake of the Woods by a party of Sioux. The 16th of Sep- 
tember there came to the Lake Pepin post a party of Sioux with 
some beaver skins as a pledge of friendship, and the next day 
another party, one of whom wore in his ear a silver pendant. 
When asked by St. Pierre how he obtained the ornament he 
refused to answer, and the captain tore it from his ear and found 
that it was similar in workmanship to those sold by the traders, 
and then placed him under guard. The Sioux, in December, were 
unruly, and burned the pickets around the garden of Guignas, 
chaplain of the post. In the spring of 1737 a war party of 
jib ways appeared from the St. Louis river of Lake Superior, 
and wished to attack the Sioux, and threatened St. Pierre; and 
after conferring with the son of Linctot, the second officer, in 
May. 1737, he set fire to the post and descended the Mississippi. 

"After a few years the Sioux begged that the French would 
return to Lake Pepin, and in 1750 the governor of Canada sent 
the great Indian fighter and stern officer, Pierre Paul Marin, to 
take command there, and Marin's son was stationed at Chagaua- 
migon, on Lake Superior. In 1752 Marin the elder was relieved 
at Lake Pepin and his son became his successor. The war between 
the French and English, which continued several years, led to the 
abandonment of the post at Lake Pepin. Captain Jonathan Car- 
ver, the first British traveler in Minnesota, mentioned in his book 


of travels in L766 he observed the ruins of a French factory 
(trading post), where, it is said, Captain St. Pierre resided, and 
carried on a very great trade with the Naudowessies before the 
reduction of Canada. 

•'Lieutenant Pike, the first officer of the United States army 
to pass through Lake Pepin, writing in 1805 of Point au Sable, 
or Sandy Point, which he reached on the same day of the same 
month as La Perriere in 17127. observes: "The French, under the 
government of M. Frontenac, drove the Renards, or Otaguainies, 
from the Ouisconsing, and pursued them up the Mississippi; and 
as a barrier built a stockade on Lake Pepin on the west shore 
just below Point au Sable; and. as was generally the case with 
that nation, blended the military and mercantile professions by 
making their fort a factory for the Sioux.' 

"A short distance from the extreme end of the point, near the 
mouth of what Pike, on his map. calls Sandy Point, there is an 
eminence from which there is an extensive view of Lake Pepin 
below and above the sandy peninsula." 

There is evidence that there had been once a clearing there,, 
and it is the most suitable spot in the vicinity for a stockade, and 
visible to anyone coming up in a boat from the bend near where 
Lake City is now situated. By the valley of the creek the Sioux 
of the prairies could readily bring their peltries to the post. The 
cannon balls found in the ground at Frontenac station may have 
been discharged in some engagement with hostile Indians, or they 
may have been taken from the fort, after its abandonment, and 
placed in a cache. 

In the meantime, there were probably many explorers and 
traders who passed Goodhue county; but the next one of whom 
we have an authentic record is Jonathan Carver, the first native 
white American to explore the Mississippi. He did not, however, . 
land at Red "Wing, but passed by on the other side of the island, 
through what is known as the back channel. 

Then came the sturdy sailor, Zebulon M. Pike, who carried 
the American flag, and informed the Indians that the President 
of the United States, and not a European monarch, was now 
their great father. Pike passed Red Wing on September 18, 1805 T 
on his way up the river. Of Pike's visit to Red Wing he himself 
wrote: "Embarked after breakfast. Mr. Cameron with his boats 
came on with me, crossed the lake, rounded it, and took an obser- 
vation at the upper end. I embarked in one of his canoes, and we 
came up Canoe river (Cannon river), where there was a small 
band of Sioux, under the command of Red Wing, the second war 
chief of the nation. He made me a speech and presented a pipe, 
punch and a buffalo skin. He appeared a man of sense, and prom- 
ised to accompany me to St. Peters." I think that on September 


18, 1805, Lieutenant Pike, for the first time in history, spoke the 
English name of the Sioux chieftain Bed AYing. On his return 
trip he calls him by his French name, Aile Rouge. Continuing his 
narrative of the trip up the river, Pike says: "We encamped on 
the end of the island, and although not more than 11 o'clock, Avere 
obliged to stay all night; distance eighteen miles." 

Lieutenant Pike writes after that, leaving his camp on the 
island, he proceeded to the mouth of the Minnesota river, then 
known as St. Peter, when on the 23rd of September, 1805, he held 
a council with sonic of the Dakota chiefs, and purchased from the 
Dakota Indians a large portion of hind now known as Fort Snell- 
ing. Somewhere above the mouth of the St. Croix and below the 
mouth of the Minnesota rivers. Pike notes the following: "I ob- 
served a white Mag on shore today, and on landing observed il to 
be white silk; it was suspended over a scaffold, on which were 
laid four dead bodies, two enclosed in boards and two in bark. 
They were the bodies. 1 was informed, of two Sioux women who 
had Lived with two Frenchmen, one of their children and some 
other relative, two of whom died at St. Peter and two at St. Croix. 
This is the manner of the Sioux burial, when persons die a natural 
de-ath ; but when they are killed they suffer them to remain un- 
buried. Tins circumstance brought to my recollection the bones 
of a man I found on the hills below the Si. Croix. The jawbone 
I brought on board. He must have been killed on the spot. 
Distance twenty-four miles." 

The names of some of the chiefs thai signed the treaty grant- 
ing the United States the land spoken of above are familiar to 
our people. I quote from the "St. Paul Daily Democrat" of May 
21, 1854, an article by Dr. Thomas Foster: "LeBoccasse should 
be written 'Bras <';isse,' or 'Broken Arm.' His Indian name was, 
t I believe, Wa-kan-tah-pay, and as late as 1825 he was still living 
at his small village. AYahpaykootans, on a lake near the Minne- 
sota, some five or six miles below Prairie La Fleeh, now LeSueur. 
The last named on the list is Le Bouef epie Marche, the 'Walking 
Buffalo.' or Tah-taw-kah-mah-me. He was a kind of sub-chief 
of old Wabasha, who was not present, being also called Red Wing, 
and it is from him that the name of the village at the head of Lake 
Pepin derives its name. lie was the father of AVah-koo-tay. Hie 
present old chieftain of the Red Wing band." After Pike had 
concluded the treaty at the mouth of the Minnesota, he continued 
on up the river, for, as he states, a distance of two hundred and 
thirty miles, and went into camp for some time. In the spring of 
1806' he revisited Red AVing again; but I shall let him tell the 
story himself. 

"April 13, Sunday. — We embarked after breakfast. Alessrs. 
Frazer and ATood accompanied me, AVind strong ahead. They 


mit rowed us; the first boat or canoe we met with on the voyage 
able to do it, but then they were double manned and light. Ar- 
rived at the band of the Aile Rouge (Red Wing) at two o'clock, 
where we were saluted as usual. We had a council, when he 
spoke with more than detestation of the rascals at the mouth of 
the St. Peter's than any man I had yet heard. He assured me, 
speaking of the fellow who had fired on my sentinel and threat- 
ened to kill me. that if 1 thought it requisite, he should be killed; 
but that, as there Mere many chiefs above with whom he wished 
to speak, he hoped I would remain one day, when all the Sioux 
would be down, and I might have the command of a thousand 
men of them, that I would probably think it no honor 1 ; but that 
the British used to flatter them ; they were proud of having them 
for soldiers. I replied in general terms, and assured him it was 
not for the conduct of two or three rascals that I meant to pass 
over all the good treatment I had received from the Sioux nation, 
but that in general council I w T ould explain myself. That as to 
the scoundrel who fired at my sentinel, had I been at home the 
Sioux nation would never have been troubled with him, for I 
would have killed him on the spot. But that my young men did 
not do it, apprehensive that I would he displeased. I then gave 
him the news of the Sauteurs; that as to remaining one day it 
would be of no service ; that I was much pressed to arrive below, 
as my general expected me, my duty called me, and that the state 
of my provision demanded the utmost expedition; that I would be 
happy to oblige him, but that my men must eat. He replied that 
Lake Pepin, being yet shut with ice, if I w r ent on and encamped 
on the ice it w T ould not get me provision. That he would send 
out all his young men the next day, and that if the other bands 
did not arrive he would depart the day after w T ith me. In short, 
after much talk. I agreed to remain one day, knowing that the 
lake was closed, and that Ave could proceed only nine miles if w T e 
went ; this appeared to give general satisfaction. I was invited 
to different feasts, and entertained at one by a person whose 
father w T as enacted a chief by the Spaniards. At this feast I saw 
a man (called by the French the Roman Nose, and by the Indians 
the "Wind that Walks) who w y as formerly the second chief of the 
Sioux, but being the cause of the death of one of the traders, 
seven years since, he voluntarily relinquished the dignity and 
has frequently requested to be given up to the whites. But he 
was now determined to go to St. Louis and deliver himself up 
where he said they might put him to death. His long repentance, 
the great confidence of the nation in him, would perhaps protect 
him from a punishment which the crime merited. But as the 
crime w T as committed long before the United States assumed its 
authority, and as no law of theirs could affect it, unless it w^as 


ex-post facto, and had a retrospective effect, I conceived it would 
certainly be dispunishable now. I did not think it proper, how- 
ever, to inform him so. I here received a letter from Mr. Kollet, 
partner of Mr. Cameron, with a present of some brandy, coffee, 
and sugar. I hesitated about receiving those articles from the 
partner of the man I intended to prosecute; their amount being 
trifling, however, I accepted of them, offering him pay. I assured 
him that the prosecution arose from a sense of duty and not from 
any personal prejudice. My canoe did not come up in conse- 
quence of the head wind. Sent out two men in a canoe to set 
fishing lines ; the canoe overset, and had it not been for the timely 
assistance of the savages, who carried them into their lodges, un- 
dressed them, and treated them with the greatest humanity and 
kindness, they must inevitably have perished. At this place I was 
informed that the rascal spoken of as having threatened my life 
had actually cocked his gun to shoot me from behind the hills, 
but was prevented by the others. 

'April 14. Monday. — Was invited to a feast by the Roman 
Nose. His conversation was interesting, and shall be detailed 
hereafter. The other Indians had not yet arrived. Messrs. AYood, 
Frazer, and myself, ascended a high hill called the Barn, from 
which we had a view of Lake Pepin, the valley through which the 
.Mississippi by numerous channels wound itself to the St. Croix ; 
tlie ( 'annon river, and the lofty hills on each side. 

"April 15, Tuesday. — Arose very early and embarked about 
sunrise, much to the astonishment of the Indians, who were en- 
tirely prepared for the council when they heard I had put it off; 
however, after some conversation with Mr. Frazer, they acknowl- 
edged that it was agreeable to what I had said, that I would sail 
early, and that they could not blame me. I was very positive in 
my word, for I found it by far the best way to treat the Indians. 
The Aile Rouge had a beaver robe and pipe prepared to present, 
but was obliged for the present to retain it." 

From this time onward all the early celebrities of Minnesota 
passed this way on their journey to Fort Snelling and other set- 
tlements that were afterward made. That many of them stopped 
with the Indians at Red Wing occasionally is not unlikely. In 
1823 the first steamboat, the "Virginia," from St. Louis, came up 
the river, and up to May 26, 1826, fifteen steamers had passed 
Barn Bluff. After that they became more frequent. 

Major Long was ordered by the War Department in the sum- 
mer of 1817 to proceed west and. examine sites on the Wisconsin 
and Mississippi rivers suitable for the location of fortifications. 
"Minnesota in Three Centuries," on page 363, Vol. I, gives an 
account of Major Long's visit at Red Wing: 'The next day, on 
Julv 18, Long similarly examined the country adjoining the 


mouth of the St. Croix, in relation to its advantages for a military 
post. Mis stock of provisions was already nearly exhausted, and 
therefore a delay through the afternoon was allowed at the vil- 
lage of the old Sioux chief Red Wing, for catching fish, and Long 
ascended the Barn Bluff, called by its French name of the Grange 
in his journal. He wrote: "From the summit of the Grange the 
view of the surrounding scenery is surpassed, perhaps, by very 
few. if any. of a similar character that the country and probably 
the world can afford. The sublime and beautiful are here blended 
in the most enchanting manner, while the prospect has very 1 ittle 
to terrify or shock the imagination.' " 

I quote from ".Minnesota in Three Centuries." Vol. II, pages 
37-38. that portion of .Major Forsyth's journal that pertains to 
Red Wing: "A't Prairie du Chien Colonel Leavenworth (1819) was 
joined by Major Thomas Forsyth, a special Indian agent, wdio 
had been sent up from St. Louis in charge of the provisions, etc., 
for the troops to be stationed at the St. Peter's, and 'a quantity 
of.goods, say $2,000 worth.' to be delivered to the Sioux in pay- 
ment for the lands ceded by them to the United States under the 
Pike treaty of 1806. As stated, he joined Colonel Leavenworth 
at Fort Crawford and accompanied the expedition to the St. 
Peter's. Major Forsyth kept a daily journal of his trip from St. 
Louis to the St. Peter's and return. This important manuscript 
was secured from his son. Colonel Robert Forsyth, of St. Louis, 
in 1871, by Dr. Lyman C. Draper, and published in the Wisconsin 
Historical collections, of which he (Dr. Draper) was editor, and 
was reprinted in Volume III of the Minnesota Society Collections. 
From this journal the incidents of the voyage of Colonel Leaven- 
worth to Minnesota have, in the main, been obtained. 

'The Sioux bad somehow learned that an agent of their Amer- 
ican Father was on his way with presents for them, and on the 
arrival of Major Forsyth at Prairie du Chien, July 5, he found 
the son of Chief Red Wing, with a considerable band, awaiting 
him. Young Red Wing at once began begging for goods. He 
said a member of his band had recently been killed by the Chip- 
pewas, and on this account the hearts of himself and companions 
were very sad, and therefore the major should at once give them 
goods to assuage their grief and lighten the gloom of their 
bereavement. 'But all this,' writes Major Forsyth, 'was a mere 
begging speech. I told him that I meant to go up with the troops 
to the River St. Peter's, and on my way up I would stop at their 
different villages, where I would speak to them and give them a 
few goods, but that I would not give any goods at this place. 
Yet he is such a beggar that he would not take any refusal. I 
got up in an abrupt manner and left him and his band to study 
awhile.' A week later the major writes: 'The Red Wing's son 


is still begging.' And not until the 15th, after a stay of ten days, 
did he leave for home, to Forsyth's great relief. But in the mean- 
time old "Wabash, he of one eye, whose big village was near the 
present site of Winona, had arrived, and a week later old Red 
Wing himself, with twenty followers, from their village, where 
the City of Red W 7 ing now stands, had come. 'This is another 
begging expedition,' writes Major Forsyth. Lake Pepin was 
'crossed with ease' on the 18th, and the next morning Major 
Forsyth had 'a little talk' with Chief Red AVing at his village. 
'I gave him some goods. He was much pleased with his pres- 
ents. His son (whom the major encountered at Prairie du Chien) 
is exactly what I took him to be— a trifling, begging, discontented 
fellow.' This clay, after making twenty-four miles, the expedi- 
tion encamped at the mouth of the St. Croix, which is described 
as a 'large river.' On the evening of the 20th a landing was made 
at Medicine Wood, probably near Gray Cloud Island. Medicine 
AVooel takes its name from a large beech tree, which kind of wood 
the Sioux are unacquainted with, supposing that the Great Spirit 
plaeed it there as a genius to protect or punish them according 
to their deserts. This is the first and perhaps the only recorded 
instance of the existence of a beech tree in Minnesota, and it 
might therefore properly have a 'medicine' character, that term 
being Sioux for supernatural or deeply mysterious." 

Henry R. Schoolcraft in 1820 accompanied the Cass expedi- 
tion as mineralogist and historian, and that part of the journey 
relating to Red Wing will be found in the work entitled Minne- 
sota in Three Centuries, Vol. 1, page 353: "The next day they 
passed the mouth of the St. Croix, and at noon arrived at the 
village of Talangamane (for Tatankamani, his Dakota name, 
meaning Walking Buffalo), or the Red Wing, consisting of four 
large lodges and several other smaller, built of logs like those of 
Little Crows. Of this chief, Red Wing, and his band, Schoolcraft 
wrote: 'Talangamane is now considered the first of his nation, 
which honor, it is said, he enjoys both on account of his superior 
age and sagacity. He appears to be about sixty, and bears all 
the marks of that age. Very few of his people were at home, 
being engaged in hunting and fishing. We observed several fine 
cornfields near the village, but they subsist chiefly by taking stur- 
geon in the neighboring lake, and by hunting deer. The buffalo 
is also occasionally killed, but they are obliged to go two days' 
journey west of the Mississippi before this animal is found in 
plenty.' " 

Major Long Again, in 1823, called at Red Wing, and I quote 
from the same authority as above: "On the evening of June 30. 
Major Long arrived at the village of the chief Red AVing, then 
called Shakea; and in the next forenoon the boat party arrived 


there I>y invitation of Shakea a ceremonious council was held 
in his cabin, over which he hoisted the United States nag. Being 
shown the map of the upper Mississippi region used for the expe- 
dition, the Indians readily understood it, traced and named its 
rivers, and one of them laid his finger upon the Falls of St. 
Anthony, which he called Ilahawotepa." 

The first men to locate 'on what is now the site of Red Wing 
were Revs. Daniel Gavin and Samuel Denton, sent out by a mis- 
sionary society of Basle, Switzerland. After arriving in this 
region. Mr. Denton married Persis Skinner and later Mr. Gavin 
married Lucy C. Stevens, of Lake Harriet. Their first mission was 
located at Trempeleau, on the Mississippi, near the present site 
of Winona, and its field of work was near Wabasha's Prairie. 
However, the Sioux of that region had become degenerated 
through intermarriage, and the missionaries in 1837 decided to 
come to Red AVing's village, where the Indians were of a higher 
degree of intelligence and morality. Mr. and Mrs. Denton came 
first and were soon joined by Mr. and Mrs. Gavin. They built 
two mission houses of logs on a spot which is now about a third 
of the way along the east side of Bush street, between Third and 
Main streets. One of the houses extended into what is now the 
street. It is unfortunate that we have not a more complete ac- 
count of the work done by these devoted souls. To them belongs 
more credit than has ever been accorded them. The Indians were 
taught to read and write and many of them learned farming and 
gardening. In July. 1838, Airs. Denton, writing to Governor 
Sibly. said : 

"The Indians have planted something more than thirty acres 
of corn, also some vegetables, all of which are growing finely. 
They are now in excellent humor, and have about given up the 
practice of begging from us. Many thanks for your prompt at- 
tention to our call for seeds. Could you see how finely they are 
growing in our beautiful garden I am sure that you would be 
glad with us. Indeed you can hardly imagine what won- 
derful improvements have been made at our village since you 
were here. You must know also that among many other mercies 
which I enjoy I have at length a friend with me, a Miss Blakesly, 
from the vicinity of Cooperstown, N. Y. I know that you will 
rejoice at this, as you know T how r much I needed assistance." 

This letter would indicate that the Dentons and Gavin fam- 
ilies were in the habit of entertaining the people at Fort Snelling 
as well as other guests from time to time. The Gavins left Red 
Wing in 1845 on account of the ill health of Mrs. Gavin, and a 
year later the Dentons also left on account of the ill health of 
Mr. Denton. The respect in which these missionaries were held 
by the Indians is shown by the fact that the mission houses re- 


mained unmolested for two years, until the arrival of the Rev. 
J. F. Aiton in 1848. J. W. Hancock came the following year. 
Revs. Aiton and Hancock were sent out by the American Board 
of Foreign Missions and moved into the houses abandoned by 
their predecessors, the Messrs. Denton and Gavin. Mr. Aiton 
soon afterward departed, having, however, rendered future gen- 
erations the great service of having' closely examined the few 
stone cairns in this vicinity and established their identity as 
burial places. 


The above are the cold historical facts as we find them, and 
as I am supposed to write only of those things that transpired 
previous to 1853, and while our old friend, the Rev. J. AY. Han- 
cock, will receive full mention in this work by persons delegated 
to that duty, yet I cannot drop my pen without adding a few 
words out of respect to the man whose memory all the old pioneers 
delight in honoring. 

In 1852-53 I was a member of Rev. J. W. Hancock's Sunday 
school, when it was held in the little log cabin that stood in what 
is now Bush street. There were perhaps six or eight of we small 
white children and fifteen or twenty little red brethren and sis- 
ters. While Julia Bevans instructed the white children (in the 
English language) how to walk in the straight and narrow way, 
so that when we had passed over to that "bourne from whence 
none return"' Ave might be worthy to wear a crown of glory. Mr. 
Hancock was laboring hard with the little Indians (in the Sioux 
language), endeavoring to impress the same lesson upon their 
minds. I do not think the lesson indelibly impressed on my mem- 
ory the first day of my attendance at a house of divine worship 
will ever be forgotten.- The plan of instruction at the Sunday 
schools in those early days was different from the course now 
pursued : not so much of love or mercy but more of his satanic 
majesty, lakes of fire and everlasting torment, if you departed 
from the path of rectitude. 

AVhile it is true that Mr. Hancock served only for two or three 
years as a missionary to the Indians, yet he remained for over 
sixty years in administering spiritual grace and comfort to a 
class of whites, who were as much in need of a saving grace as the 
wild Indians, and by his everyday life and example caused men 
to stop and consider, thereby making them better men. I know 
that Mr. Hancock had many trials and disappointments in his 
early life here in those pioneer days, but you will not find them 
mentioned in any of his early writings ; neither did he go to his 
neighbors and friends with a tale of w r oe. but always with a smile, 
a good word to all, satisfied that he had a mission to fulfill ; and 
by the everyday life he led in our midst and for all those years of 
trouble and privations I am firm in the belief that he is now 

m skw Yon 
P UW>1C LIB***' 

Wm. M. Sweney, M. D. 


enjoying the reward, in the fullest extent, that he so justly merits. 
Charles Gould, Snow the trader, Calvin Potter, James McGinnis, 
William Freeborn and my father, Dr. \\\ W. Sweney, thus begin- 

Following Mr. Hancock, or possibly in one or two cases pre- 
ceding him, came John Bush, Benjamin Young, James Wells, 
Charles Gould, Snow the trader, Calvin Potter, James McGinnis, 
William Freeborn and my father, Dr. W. W. Sweney, 'thus begin- 
ning the influx of modern settlement. 

William Montgomery Sweney, whose studious article appears 
above, was born in Fulton county. Illinois, November 6, 1849, son 
of William Wilson and Maria M. Sweney, and was brought to 
this village with his parents as an infant. He attended Rev. J. W. 
Hancock's mission school and later took a course in Hamline 
University, at that time located in Red AVing. Having spent the 
early part of his life amid pioneer conditions, he early accpiired 
a love of nature, which has since resulted in exhaustive studies in 
archaeology and geology, in both of which he was a thorough 
student and able writer. In 1876 he graduated from Bellevue 
Hospital Medical College, in New York City, and took up the 
practice of medicine in Red Wing. Yielding to the solicitation of 
his friends, he has served the city as alderman, and in this capac- 
ity has been an earnest advocate of purer water for general use 
in the city, his efforts resulting in the now projected municipal 
artesian well water supply. Dr. Sweney was married in 1880 to 
Delia M. Drew, by whom he has four children — William M., born 
February 8. 1882; James H.. born November 2, 1881: Marjorie 
M. born May 11. 1893, and Edward B., born February 23, 1898. 



Landing 1 of Count Frontenac — Building of Fort Beauharnois by 
Du Boucher in 1727 — Work of the Jesuits — Disastrous 
Freshets — Capture of Father Guingas — Linctot's Stockade 
— St. Pierre and His Meeting With Washington — Abandon- 
ment of Stockade — Marin's Fort in 1750 — Final Evacuation 
by the French — Modern Evidences. 

Goodhue county boasts of four of the early French forts. 
The one built in 16!)o by LeSueur has already been mentioned. 
The three at Frontenac are worthy of extended historical 

Tradition declares that Counl Frontenac, in conducting his 
explorations along the upper Mississippi, landed at practically 
the present site of Frontenac in the middle of the seventeenth 
century, hi the late twenties of the eighteenth century, the 
French, who had some twenty years previous, abandoned the 
forts at Prairie Island and Wabasha, sawJthe necessity of again 
establishing some sort of ;i sovereignty over the territory drained 
by the waters of the upper Mississippi, the French government 
having been awakened to activity in the matter by the following 
communication sent from the governor of Canada. 

"It is more than obvious that the English are endeavoring 
to interlope among the Indian nations and attach them unto 
themselves. They entertain constantly the idea of becoming 
masters of North America, and are persuaded that the Euro- 
pean nation which shall be in possession of the territory of the 
Sioux and Chippewas will in the course of time be also masters 
of all of the North American continent, because it is there that 
men live in health and produce strong and robust children."' 

Accordingly, peace having been concluded by the French 
with several tribes at Green Bay, another occupancy of the 
country by the French was determined upon, and Sieur de la 
Pierriere (also known as La Perriere, or Pierrie, du Bouche and 
Rene, or Reni, Boucher), with a company which included two 
Jesuits. Louis Ignatius Guignas and a companion, De Ganor, left 



Montreal June 16, 1727, and reached the enlargement of the 
Mississippi, now known as Lake Pepin, September 17 of the 
same year. It is interesting to note that the name Pepin is first 
given to this lake in the journal of Le Sueur in the year 1700, 
and was probably applied in honor of Stephen Pepin, who was 
with Le Sueur on the shores of Lake Superior as early as 1679. 
In the latter part of September, 1727, Boucher arrived at Sand 
Point, which extends into Lake Pepin opposite Maiden Rock. 
Here he erected a stockade one hundred feet square, within 
which were three buildings, subserving probably the uses of 
store, chapel and living quarters. One of the log huts was 
34 x 16, one 30 x 16 and the last 26 x 16. There were two 
bastions, with pickets all around, twelve feet high. The fort 
was named in honor of Charles de Beauharnois, then governor 
of Canada. The Jesuits called their mission from St. Michael, 
the Archangel. Father Guignas, in writing from the new fort, 
gave the following description of a celebration held there. He 
says: "On the morning of November 1 [1727] we did not forget 
that it was the General's birthday. In the morning, mass was 
said for him, and in the evening some very fine rockets were 
displayed, while we shouted 'Vive le Roy' and 'Vive Charles de 
Beauharnois.' What contributed much to. the amusement was 
the terror which the rockets caused to some lodges of Indians, 
at that time near the fort. When these poor people saw the 
fireworks in the air, and the stars apparently falling down from 
the heavens, the women and the children began to flee, and even 
the most courageous of the men to cry for mercy, begging 
earnestly that we would stop the astonishing display of 'fire 

During the following spring, in the month of April. 1728, 
the water rose so high in the lake that the floors of the log 
buildings were submerged, and for two weeks the Frenchmen 
had to live in the woods. In dispatches sent to France in Octo- 
ber, 1729. by the Canadian government, the following reference 
is made to Fort Beauharnois: ''They report that the fort built 
among the Sioux, on the border of Lake Pepin, is badly situated 
on account of the freshets, but the Indians assure them that the 
water in the spring of 1728 rose higher than ever before, and 
this is credible, inasmuch as it did not so much as reach the 
fort this year." Owing to the hostility of the Foxes during that 
summer, traders were afraid to settle at the post, and in the fall 
of that year it was practically abandoned. In the spring the 
abandonment became actual, and the place was without 
occupants for several years. 

In going to Illinois, during the month of October, probably 
1728 or 1720. the zealous Father Guignas attempted to visit the 


place, but found the Sioux unfriendly. Continuing his way 
down the river to Illinois, he was captured by some allies of the 
Foxes, and was only saved from being burned by the friendly 
interposition of an aged Indian, who is supposed to have been 
one of his converts at the Frontenac mission. After five months 
of bondage he was set free. 

In the early thirties of the eighteenth century, Sieur Linctot 
selected a better position on higher ground in the rear of the 
first post, a few hundred feet from the shore, beyond the reach 
of high water, on and near the bluff edge of a wide plateaux, 
from which was an extensive view, both above and below the 
sandy peninsula, or point. Sieur Linctot was appointed com- 
mandant, and Sieur Portneuf ranked second. The new stockade 
ordered to be constructed was 120 feet square, with four 
bastions and accommodations within for the commandant. 
Linctot passed the following winter at Perrot's first establish- 
ment. "Montagne qui Trempe dans l'eau," now corrupted to 
"Trempeauleau;" and early in the spring he ascended to the 
site of the old stockade on Sandy Point, where he found a large 
number of Sioux awaiting his arrival. 

The elder Linctot's request to be relieved of the command 
was granted, and in 17:!.") the aide officer, Legardeur (Captain 
de) St. Pierre, was made his substitute. Upon the sixth day of 
May, the following year (1736), Sioux to the number of 140 
arrived at the fort and said that they were taking back to the 
Puans a slave who had tied to them. St. Pierre told them that 
he thought it a large guard for one woman, and then they 
alleged that they were going to hunt turkeys to obtain feathers 
for their arrows. Continuing their journey down the Missis- 
sippi, they met and scalped two Frenchmen. When St. Pierre 
was on a visit up the river, still searching for the supposed out- 
let to the Pacific, and to build another post, the lawless party 
returned, and for four days danced the scalp dance in the 
vicinity of the fort. 

In August of this year (1736) St. Pierre was informed by 
letters from Lake Superior of the massacre of twenty-one 
Frenchmen on an island in the Lake of the Woods by a party of 
Sioux. Among the massacred was the Jesuit chaplain, Anneau, 
who was found with an arrow in his brain, and the son of Sieur 
Verendyre lying upon his back, his flesh hacked by tomahawks, 
and whose head had been removed, and was ornamented with 
garters and bracelets of porcupine quills. On the sixteenth of 
September five Indians, three chiefs and two young braves, 
delivered a quantity of beaver skins to St. Pierre as a pledge of 
friendship, and declared that they had no part in the attack at 
the Lake of the Woods. Thev w r ere then asked as to their 


knowledge of the killing of the two Frenchmen on the Missis- 
sippi. The next day a chief came with three young men, one 
of whom wore in his ear a silver pendant. When asked how he 
obtained the ornament, he smiled but would not answer. St. 
Pierre then tore it from his ear, and found it was similar in 
workmanship to those sold by the traders, and placed him under 
guard. Ouakantape, an insolent Sioux chief, and a party of 
thirty-six men and their families, arrived and passed the fort, 
and visited some Puans, who were encamped in the vicinity. 
Some of his party burned the pickets around Father Guignas' 
garden. In May of 1737 a war party of jib ways appeared 
from the St. Louis river and Lake Superior and wished the 
Puans to unite with them against the Sioux, and threatened St. 
Pierre. Thus encircled by menacing foes, St. Pierre found pru- 
dence the better part of valor, and conferred with Sieur Linctot, 
the second in command (and son of the elder Linctot), Father 
Guignas, and some others, in regard to an abandonment. This 
consultation resulted in a conclusion to burn the fort, which w r as 
done, and on May 13, the French made their second abandon- 
ment and sailed down the river. 

St. Pierre did not, however, pass out of history, he being, it 
is believed, the commandant at Fort Duquesne, in western Penn- 
sylvania, who is knowm to every schoolboy in America, England 
and France as having been the officer to w r hom George Washing- 
ton, as a young man, bore the historic demand for French with- 
drawal from the Ohio valley. St. Pierre was in Montreal, in 
October, 1753. November 3, of that year, the Marquis Duquesne 
wrote to the minister of war in France that he had sent the 
Sieur de St. Pierre to succeed Marin in command of the army 
of the Ohio. St. Pierre reached the place, near where Pittsburg 
now stands, and where Fort Duquesne was built, the first week 
in December. Seven days after his arrival there, young George 
Washington came, bearing a letter from Governor Dinwiddie, 
of Virginia, to the commander of the fort. After courteous 
treatment by St. Pierre for several days, Washington w r as sent 
back with the following note to Governor Dinwiddie : 

Sir : — I have the honor to be here the commander-in-chief. 
M. Washington delivered to me the letter which you wrote to 
the commander of the French troops. I should have been pleased 
had you given him the order, or that he has been disposed to go 
to Canada to see our general, to whom it better belongs than to 
me, to set forth the evidence of the incontestable rights of the 
king, my master, to the lands along the Ohio ; and to refute the 
pretentions of the king of Great Britain thereto. I shall transmit 
your" letter to M. le Marquis Duquesne. His reply will be law to 
me, and if he shall order me to communicate with you, you may 


be assured that I shall not fail to act promptly. As to the sum- 
mons you sent me to retire, I do not think I am obliged to obey. 
Whatever may be your instructions, I am here by order of my 
general, and I beg you not to doubt for a moment but that I am 
determined to conform with the exactness and resolution that 
becomes a good officer. I do not know that in the progress of 
this campaign anything has passed which can be regarded as an 
act of hostility or contrary to the treaties between the two 
crowns, the continuation of which pleases us as much as it does 
the English. If you had been pleased to enter into particulars 
as to the facts which caused your complaint, I should have been 
honored to give you as full and satisfactory reply as possible. 
I have made it a duty to receive M. Washington with distinction 
on account of your dignity and his personal worth. I have the 
honor to be, Monsieur, your very humble and very obedient 
servant. "L. DE ST. PIERRE. 

"At the Fort. December 15, 1753." 

How little did these two men, who so thoroughly appreciated 
the personal qualities of the other, realize that the far-away 
wilderness, in which St. Pierre had built a fort among the Sioux, 
was one day to be a rich and populous part of a great nation, 
whose sons would be proud to honor the other as their greatest 
hero. In the French and Indian war, after the defeat of Brad- 
dock, who was sent against Fort Duquesne, this same St. Pierre, 
a most gallant soldier and accomplished gentleman, was fatally 
wounded in a battle near Lake George, while leading the Indian 
allies of the French army. His last words were: "Fight on, 
boys; this is Johnson, not Braddock." From this circumstance 
, it is believed that St. Pierre had the distinction of meeting Wash- 
ington on the field of battle, when the latter was serving under 
General Braddock in his unsuccessful expedition against Fort 

In 1750 the Sioux begged to have the post on Lake Pepin 
re-established, and the governor of Canada sent Marin, the 
Indian fighter whom St. Pierre succeeded in the valley of the 
Ohio, to take command. Later, Marin was ordered east, leaving 
his son, the chevalier, in command. The war between the Eng- 
lish and the French made a concentration of forces advisable, 
and the fort at Lake Pepin was abandoned. This time it was 
not destroyed, and was used by traders for a year or so after- 
ward. The last occupancy of which anything is known was 
in 1754. 

The above narrative of the early days of Frontenac has been 
written after a study of authorities, ancient and modern, and the 
consultation of various manuscripts, taken together with a con- 
sideration of probabilities. It is doubtless as correct an account 


as ever will be written, and is substantiated by considerable 
evidence. That the Captain St. Pierre, who had command of the 
Lake Pepin fort, is the same as the Legardeur St. Pierre who 
received Washington, is proven in as satisfactory a manner as 
has been a large part of what we now consider authentic history 
of early America. Some authorities place St. Pierre as the last 
commandant of the third fort at Frontenac, and declare that lie 
was there (probably with the son of Marin) in 1758. and that 
he went directly from there to Montreal, thence at once to Fort 
Duquesne. The more probable statement is that he was the 
commandant of the second fort at Frontenac, and that it was 
he, who, with the son of Linctot. burned and abandoned the 
second-built fort in 1737. In this connection the thoughtful 
reader will consider the fact that the commandant of the fort 
in western Pennsylvania, who received "Washington, Mas an aged 
man, while this St. Pierre of Lake Pepin fame was a man of 
middle age. This would be better accounted for by a lapse of 
sixteen years, allowed by those who place him as the com- 
mandant of the second fort at Frontenac. rather than by the 
lapse of a few months, allowed by those who place him as the 
last commandant of the third and last fort built at Frontenac. 
The building of this third fort is variously placed as from 1747 
to 1750. Whether Marin was called from the fort to take charge 
of the army in the Ohio valley in the early fifties of the eight- 
eenth century, or whether he did not leave the fort at Frontenac 
until after the outbreak of the French and English hostilities, 
is another question .that has never been solved, although, if St. 
Pierre succeeded him at Fort Duquesne, the former is probable. 

In regard to the early exploration of the French in this 
locality, much confusion has arisen from the fact that the early 
investigators evidently took "LaSieur" to be a name, whereas 
it is only a complimentary title, prefixed to names, as our ' ' Esq. ' ' 
is affixed to English names, and the result is much the same as 
the result might be five hundred years from now, should investi- 
gators then consider "Esq." a name, and try to identify with 
each other from records of the present day all names ending 
in that manner. It is with considerable hesitancy that the edi- 
tor advances the theory, so firmly believed by the earlier his- 
torians, that Le Sieur de la Pierriere du Bouche. of Frontenac 
fame, is the de la Perriere Boucher known in history as the one 
who led the Indians in their attack on Haverhill, Mass.. when 
they killed the Puritan minister of the village, scalped his wife, 
and then clashed out his infant's brains against the rocks. 

In 1766, scarcely more than a decade after the supposed final 
abandonment of the third fort at Frontenac, Captain Jonathan 
Carver, probably the first English traveler to the Falls of St. 


Anthony, in 1766, describing Lake Pepin, says: "I observed the 
ruins of a French factory, where it is said Captain St. Pierre 
resided and carried on a great trade with the Naudowessies 
before the reduction of Canada." 

In 1805, Lieutenant Pike, United States army, passed through 
Lake Pepin, and described the position of the ruined post as it 
would appear to him going up the lake, and in view before 
reaching Point no Point, as being on the west shore behind the 

In 1887, in digging for a foundation for a cistern, two can- 
non balls were found near Frontenac Station at a depth of about 
five feet. One was a four-pound and the other a six-pound ball. 
These were doubtless buried by the Indians, shortly after the 
abandonment of the fort, as being useless to them, and possibly 
"bad medicine." 

In the rear of the low lands of the Point is an eminence of 
some sixty feet, which is the bluff edge of a wide plateau, from 
which there is an extensive view below and above the sandy 
peninsula. It is the most suitable spot in the vicinity for a 
stockade, and there is evidence, in the absence of very aged 
trees, that there had once been a clearing there. The old Indian 
trail up and down the valley crossed this plateau and the valley 
of the Sandy Point creek, now Well's creek, affording easy 
routes for the Sioux of the prairie to the post. Frontenac Sta- 
tion is overlooked by this plateau, and an enemy approaching 
the post would probably be met at that point by the artillery 
tire of the defenders, moving out a short distance from the 

The Graham Family has, since the earliest days, occupied an 
important place in the life of the county, and the name will be 
remembered so long as the county exists. Hon. Christopher C. 
Graham was one of the best-known citizens of the state. He 
was born in Augusta county, Virginia, in October, 1806, and 
removed with his parents, when three months old, to Lincoln 
county, Kentucky. In 1816 the family removed to Booneville, 
Ind. During his boyhood he attended such schools as were pro- 
vided in his neighborhood, and later went to the academy at 
Montgomery, Ohio, where he completed his school education. 
Mr. Graham was elected to the Indiana legislature in 1835, and 
served until 1841. The following year he was elected to the 
senate, which position he occupied until 1846. At the outbreak 
of the Mexican war he was appointed by President Polk as com- 
missary of subsistence for the Second Indiana Infantry, but later 
resigned after one year's service. He was also a member of the 
convention which framed the constitution of Indiana. During 
the campaign preceding the election of President Pierce, Mr. 


Graham was a prominent candidate for the nomination to 
Congress, but gave way to another prominent candidate. In 
1854 he was appointed to the land office as receiver at Red Wing, 
and at once removed to that place, his family following a year 
later, the register being W. W. Phelps, also a prominent old- 
timer. In 1858 the land office, having been removed to Hender- 
son, Minn., Mr. Graham went to that place, and remained three 
years, afterward returning to Red Wing, where he remained 
until his death, in the middle of May, 1891. A newspaper obitu- 
ary of his life said: "In politics, Mr. Graham was an unswerv- 
ing Democrat, and yet he was liberal in his political views, as in 
everything else. He served as mayor of Red Wing for one year, 
and was elected justice of the peace in 1869, since which he was 
almost unanimously re-elected every two years. In 1872 he was 
a candidate for Congress on the Democratic ticket, but was 
defeated by a small majority. He was a member of the Episco- 
pal church of Red Wing, and for a number of years was one of 
the vestrymen. He • was also a member of Red Wing Lodge, 
No. 8, A. F. and A. M. Mr. Graham was a man of the strictest 
integrity, a Christian in the highest sense of the term, of superior 
talent, and one of the best public speakers in the state. He was 
very domestic in all Ids tastes, and no father was ever happier 
than he when surrounded by his children. He was phenomenally 
quick at repartee, and no one ever enjoyed a joke better than he 
or could see the ridiculous side of a proposition quicker than he, 
and his sayings became common property throughout this com- 
munity. He did not have an enemy in the world, and though a 
man of strong convictions, yet he never interfered in the belief 
of any one." Mr. Graham was married July 7, 1837, to Louise 
H. Hargrave; born February 14. 1814, and died in January, 1895. 

Florence, the oldest child of Christopher C. Graham, now 
lives at Red Wing. In her honor the township of Florence, this 
county, was named. She was married January 8, 1872, to David 
M. Taber; born June 26, 1840, in Massachusetts. Mr. Taber was 
a lawyer, served as city and county attorney, and had a promis- 
ing career ahead of him when cut off by death in the prime of 
life, April 1, 1880, pneumonia being the cause of his decease. 
To this union was born one child, Christopher G. Mrs. Florence 
Taber has taken up the work left by her father, and is known 
for her interest in all matters which tend toward the betterment 
of the city and county. Ralph G., son of Mr. Taber by a former 
marriage, married Henrietta S. Pratt. He has been manager of 
the T. B. Sheldon Auditorium, and has met with much success 
as a magazine writer. Isabella, the second child died at the age 
of three years. 

John A. Graham, deceased, the third child of the Graham 


family, was born in Boonville, Ind., and came to Red Wing with 
his parents in 1854 at the age of fourteen years. A printer by 
trade, he established here a printing establishment, and was on 
the high road of success when the Civil War broke out. He 
enlisted in the Union army October 10, 1861, was mustered-in 
November 7, 1861; served three years; was discharged for pro- 
motion; re-enlisted February 4, 1864; was promoted to sergeant; 
discharged for promotion September 17, 1864; promoted to lieu- 
tenant and honorably discharged at the close of the conflict. 
Returning to Red Wing, he entered the wholesale store of Fred- 
rich, Kempe & Co., and also served as postal clerk. He died in 
1903 at the hospital in Minnehaha. His wife, Amelia Lunenburg, 
whom he married at Galesburg, 111., in November, 1872, now 
lives in Red Wing. 

Mary, the fourth child of Christopher Graham, is deceased. 
She married Charles L. Davis, formerly editor of the "Argus," 
who served as captain in the Union army, and is now postmaster 
at the capital. 

William, the fifth child, worked as a bank clerk in St. Paul 
and Red Wing. He died in 187'.i. 

Helen 0.. the sixth child, occupies an important place in this 
community, and lives in the old homestead at 625 Fifth street. 
A musician of no little ability, she serves as organist in St. 
Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, and her philanthropic and 
religious work is widely known. 

M attic Graham, the seventh child, is Mrs. J. S. Coughlin, a 
well-known resident of Minneapolis. 

Jennie is Mrs. John Maginnis, of Portland, Ore., and Emma, 
the youngest, was a singer of considerable note, and received 
her musical education in Boston and in Europe. She is now 
Mrs. E. W. White, also of Portland, Ore. 



French and English Claims — Spanish Rule — The Louisiana Pur- 
chase — A Part of Louisiana Territory — Under Successive 
Jurisdiction of Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa — No 
Man's Land — General Sibley's Duties — Minnesota a Terri- 
tory — In Statehood Days — A Full-Fledged County. 

To trace the earl}' political history of Goodhue county, from 
the time of the undisputed possession by the Indians, is a some- 
what difficult task, owing to the fact that in the early days boun- 
daries, as given in treaties, and sometimes even in territorial 
acts, were rather indefinite, and sometimes obviously incorrect. 
The French and the English, who for so long, and for so many 
varied reasons, had caused Europe to flow with the blood of 
their rivalries, early became contestants for supremacy on the 
newly explored continent. By reason of the early explorations 
of De Soto, La Salle and others, both from the Gulf up the Mis- 
sissippi, and from the St. Lawrence down the Great Lakes, and 
thence overland, the French claimed as their possession the 
entire Mississippi valley, extending as far east as the Alleghany 
mountains, and westward indefinitely. The British claims to 
sovereignty was based on the fact that the early English 
explorers along the Atlantic coast had, in planting the English 
standard, laid claim to the country "from sea to sea," as was 
the recognized custom among the explorers sent out by the civi- 
lized nations of that day. This claim was further strengthened 
by the activities in the disputed territory of the Hudson Bay 
and Northwest Fur companies, more or less connected with the 
English government, who had established outposts to their Cana- 
dian trading stations, extending well into the Mississippi valley. 
These rival claims were the cause of the early French and Indian 
wars of the New England colonies, and it will be remembered 
were the cause of Braddock's memorable trip to Fort Duquesne, in 
which is now western Pennsylvania, upon which occasion Washing- 
ton took a part, and which has now become a portion of the annals 
of early United States history. At 'the close of these wars, 1763, 



the Mississippi became the dividing line, and France ceded the 
entire tract west of the river to Spain. By the treaty follow- 
ing the American Revolution, practically all of what is now that 
portion of the United States lying east of the Mississippi, with 
the exception of Florida, which was later purchased from Spain, 
was virtually acknowledged as a part of the new American 
republic, Spain retaining her claim to the territory west of the 
Mississippi. In 1800, Spain restored the territory to France, and 
in 1803 Napoleon ceded it to the United States. This tenure of 
nearly forty years by Spain made no impress upon what is now 
Minnesota. The precarious grip of the French kings left no 
political or racial influence, but the brave and courageous French 
explorers have bequeathed their names, written in fearless char- 
acters in the cognomens applied to cities and rivers; and their 
deeds, set forth in manuscripts still preserved, will form a 
romantic page in the history of the state for all time to come. 
During these changes of possession, which were but moves in 
the game played on the checkerboards of European polities, the 
territory now known as Goodhue county remained in the prac- 
tical possession of the Indians, and untrod by white men, save 
as here and there an adventurer or trader landed upon the Mis- 
sissippi shore; or a band of hardy soldiers established for a time 
their stockades. The task of dividing the great Louisiana pur- 
chase, of which the present Goodhue county was a part, became 
an important one. In 1812, Louisiana was admitted as a 
state, and the rest of the purchase was reorganized as Missouri 
territory. In 181!). Missouri framed a slate constitution, and in 
1834 the district north of Missouri and west of the Mississippi 
river was a pari of the land placed under the jurisdiction of 
Michigan territory. When "Wisconsin territory was organized, 
from the western part of Michigan, in 1836, the present states 
of Iowa and Minnesota were a part of it, and the seat of govern- 
ment was fixed at Burlington, dune 12, 1838, Congress passed 
4n act separating Iowa from Wisconsin, what is now Minnesota, 
west of the Mississippi, being included in the territory of Iowa. 
In Iowa territorial days the greater part of southern and south- 
eastern Minnesota was within the jurisdiction of Clayton county. 
Henry II. Sibley was a justice of the peace in that county. The 
county seat was 250 miles distant, and his jurisdiction extended 
over a region of country, which, as he expressed it, was "as 
large as the empire of France." General Sibley lived in Men- 
dota, from 1835 to 1862, and in that time, without leaving home, 
he had lived in the territories of- Michigan, AVisconsin, Iowa and 
Minnesota, and in the state of Minnesota. From 1846 until 
March 3, 1849, when Minnesota was admitted as a territory, the 
state was practically a no-man's land, being in a vague way 


attached to Prairie du Chien, of Crawford county, Wisconsin, 
for judicial purposes, and having such law and order as could 
be enforced from Fort Snelling. Various bills were presented to 
Congress calling for the organization of the territory, all of 
which failed until 1849. Goodhue county, being in the posses- 
sion of the Sioux Indians, was little affected by the various 
changes in state and territorial ownership. With the inaugura- 
tion of President Zachary Taylor, March 5, 1849, the land now 
known as Goodhue county, having successively passed under the 
rule of France, Spain- — and then France again — Louisiana, Mis- 
souri, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, became a part of the terri- 
tory of Minnesota, of which political division it was designed 
later, in statehood days, to become so important a part. Mention 
of the fact that in the earliest days of Minnesota territory, Good- 
hue county was a part of the county of Wabasha, completes the 
territorial claim of title. 



Prairie du Chien in 1825— Second Treaty in 1830— Treaty of 
1837— Doty Treaty in 1841— Treaty of Mendota in 1851— 
Land Open to Settlement — Prairie Island Indians. 

While the whites, at their own inclination, were shifting the 
sovereignty of the vast tract including within its scope what is 
now Goodhue county, the Indians, nevertheless, had claims which 
the nations had, in a measure at least, to acknowledge. The 
Sioux were not only in practical, but in actual possession, and it 
was only after long negotiations that the country was opened for 
permanent white settlement. 

The treaty of Prairie du Chien, signed in 1825, was important 
to the Sioux living in this vicinity, in that it fixed certain boun- 
daries. The eastern boundary of the Sioux territory was to com- 
mence on the east bank of the Mississippi, opposite the mouth of 
the "Ioway" river, running back to the bluffs, and along the 
bluffs to the Bad Ax river; thence to the mouth of Black river, 
and thence to "half a day's march" below the falls of the Chip- 
pewa. The boundary lines were certainly, in some respects, quite 
indefinite, and whether this was the trouble or not, at any event, 
it was but a few months after the treaty when it was evident that 
neither the Dakotas nor Ojibways were willing to be governed 
by the lines established — and hardly by any others. The first 
article of the treaty provided : ' ' There shall be a firm and per- 
petual peace between the Sioux and the Chippewas ; between the 
Sioux and the confederated tribes of Sacs and Foxes ; and 
between the Ioways and the Sioux.*' But this provision was 
more honored in the breach than the observance, and in a little 
time the tribes named were flying at one another's throats and 
engaged in their old-time hostilities. On the part of the Sioux 
this treaty was signed by Chiefs Wabasha, Little Crow, Standing 
Buffalo. Sleepy Eye, Two Faces, Tah-sah-ghee, or "His Cane;" 
Black Dog. Wah-ah-na-tah, or "The Charger;" Red Wing, 
Shakopee, Penishon and Eagle Head, and also by a number of 
head soldiers and "principal men." The Chippewa signers were 



Shingauba Wassa, Gitche Gaubow,.Wis Coup, or "Sugar," and a * 
number of sub-chiefs and principal men. 

In 1830, a second treaty with the Northwest Indian tribes 
was held at Prairie du Chien. Delegates were present from four 
bands of the Sioux, the Medawakantons, the Wapakootas, the 
Wahpatons and the Sissetons, and also from the Sacs, the Foxes 
and Iowas, and even from the Omahas, Otoes and Missouris, the 
homes of the last three tribes being on the Missouri river. At 
this treaty the Indian tribes represented ceded all of their claims 
to the land in western Iowa, northwestern Missouri, and 
especially the country of the Des Moines river valley. The lower 
bands bad a special article inserted in the treaty for the benefit 
of their half-blood relatives : 

"The Sioux bands in council have earnestly solicited that they 
might have permission to bestow upon the half-breeds of their 
nation the tract of land within the following limits, to-wit : 
Beginning at a place called the Barn, below and near the village of 
the Red Wing chief, and running back fifteen miles; thence, in a 
parallel line, with Lake Pepin and the Mississippi river about 
thirty-two miles, to a point opposite Beef, en* O'Boeuf, river, 
thence fifteen miles to the Grand Encampment, opposite the river 
aforesaid, the United States agree to suffer said half breeds to 
occupy said tract of country, they holding by the same title, and 
in the same manner that other Indian titles are held." 

Certificates, or "script," were issued to many half-breeds, and 
there was much speculation in them, and litigation over them, 
in subsequent years, a matter of which will be treated later in 
this history. The Sioux also ceded a tract of land twenty miles 
wide along the northern boundary of Iowa from the Mississippi 
to the Des Moines, the consideration for which was $2,000 in cash 
and $12,000 in merchandise. Iron Cloud, of the Red AVing 
village, was among the signers of this treaty. 

In the spring of 1837, Agent Taliaferro, who had in charge 
much of the early negotiation between the Indians and the 
United States, was instructed to organize an authoritative and 
reliable delegation of the lower bands of Sioux, to proceed to 
Washington and make a treaty ceding the lands claimed by them 
in what are now Wisconsin and Minnesota. These lands were 
the islands in the Mississippi and a strip of land of a few miles, 
varying in width from the mouth of the Broad Axe to the mouth 
of the "Watab. The expedition as it started from Fort Snelling 
consisted of a number of Indian chiefs and head men, and several 
whites. At Red Wing the boat stopped to take on Wacoota and 
his head soldier; and at Winona, Wabasha and Thin Face joined 
the expedition. The treaty was concluded and signed Septem- 
ber 29 by Joel R. Poinsett, then secretary of war. For some 


* reason, which at the present time is not known, none of the rep- 
resentatives of Wabasha's and Wacoota's bands, as shown by the 
record, signed the treaty, although both chiefs were present, and 
Wabasha was head chief of the Medawakanton band. A consid- 
erable portion of the country ceded along the Wisconsin shore 
of the Mississippi was only across the river from their own lands, 
and they certainly had an interest in its disposition; but in the 
printed copies of the United States treaties their signatures do 
not appear. 

The Doty treaty, made at Traverse des Sioux, in July, 1841, 
failed to be ratified by the United States Senate. This treaty 
embodied a Utopian dream that a territory of Indians could be 
established, in which the redmen would reside on farms and in 
villages, living their lives after the style of the whites, having a 
constitutional form of government, with a legislature of their 
own people elected by themselves, the governor to be appointed 
by the president of the United States, much along the plan still 
followed in the Indian Territory, except that it embodied for the 
Indians a much higher type of citizenship than is found in the 
Indian Territory* The Indians were to be taught the arts of 
peace, to be paid annuities, and to be protected by the armies of 
the United Slates from their Indian enemies on the west. In 
return for these benefits to be conferred upon the Indians, the 
United States was to receive all the lands in what is now Minne- 
sota, the Dakotas and northwestern Iowa, except small portions, 
which were to be reserved for the redmen. This ceded land was 
for the most pari to be opened to the settlement of the whites, 
although the plan was to have some of it reserved for Indian 
tribes from other parts of the country who should sell their lands 
to the United Stales, and who. in being moved here, were to 
enjoy all the privileges which had been so beautifully planned 
for the native Indians. But no one can tell what would have been 
the result of this experiment, for the Senate, for political rea- i 
sons, refused to ratify the treaty, and it failed of going into 

Prior to 1851, only the land on the east of the Mississippi, with 
a few islands in that river, were open to white settlement. The 
agitation started in the late forties resulted in the treaties which 
opened what is now Goodhue county and surrounding territory 
to settlement. July 22, the treaty of Traverse des Sioux was 
signed, and on July 29, 1851, the deliberations preceding the 
treaty at Mendota with the Wah-pa-koota and Medawakanton 
bands of Sioux were started. The chiefs and head men of these 
two bands were thoroughly conversant with the proceedings of 
the Indians and the representatives of the United States at Tra- 
verse des Sioux, and all were on hand, ready for the negotiations 


at Mendota. The first session was held in the warehouse of the 
Fur Company at that place, but the Indians found the atmos- 
phere stilling - , and not in accord with their usual method of 
outdoor councils, so the consideration of the treaty was taken up 
under a large brush arbor, erected by Alexis Bailly, on an ele- 
vated plain near the high prominence known as Pilot Knob. Dr. 
Thomas Foster was secretary for Commissioners Lea and Ram- 
sey; the interpreters were Alexander Faribault, Philander 
Preseott and Rev. G. II. Pond; the white witnesses were David 
Olmsted, \V. ('. Henderson, Alexis Bailly, Richard Chute. Henry 
Jackson, A. L. Carpenter, W. II. Randall. A. S. II. White, H. L. 
Dousman, Fred ('. Sibley. Martin McLeod, George N. Faribault 
and Joseph A. Wheelock. On the opening of the first day's 
session the object of the gathering was fully explained to the 
assembled Indians by the white commissioners. For the Indians,. 
Wabasha, of the Medawakantons, replied as follows: 

The chiefs and braves who sit here have heard what you 
have said from our Great Father. I have but one thing to say to 
you. fathers, and then we will separate for the day. I was among 
those who went to Washington and brought home the w T ords of 
our Great Father. Some of those here were there also, and some 
who went are now dead. According to what our Great Father 
then said, we have some funds lying back in his hands. We 
spoke of these funds to our fathers, the commissioners, who were 
here fall before last. These men you see around you are anxious 
to get that which is due them before they do anything. That is 
all I have to say now." 

The Leaf Shooter (Wacoota). of the Red Wing band, rose 
and displayed the medal formerly worn by Chief AVambde Yah 
Kapi (War Eagle That May Be Seen), who was killed by the 
Sacs and Foxes on the Des Moines river in July, 1849. He said: 
"My race had four chiefs, but they have passed away from us. 
The last- one (War Eagle That May Be Seen) was made chief by 
my father, Governor Ramsey, who placed this medal about his 
neck. Father, I wish to have those who have killed the owner 
of this medal, pay for it. The fall before last, you spoke of this; 
the medal w r as then all bloody, and if you will look at it you will 
see that it is still so. I wish you to wash that blood off. I return 
it to you, and if you will wipe off the blood, I will be glad." 

The commissioners reminded the Indians that in regard to 
the money which was due them under the treaty of 1837, a por- 
tion of which was being withheld, the treaty provided that it was 
to be paid to them at the direction and pleasure of the Great 
Father, the president; that the Indians had agreed to this wdien 
they signed the treaty, twelve years previous, and had never com- 
plained before. But Colonel Lea said that if the Indians would 


come to an agreement in regard to the treaty, there would be no 
trouble about the back money. In regard to the medal, which is 
known in history as the bloody medal, owing to the Leaf Shoot- 
er's poetic and figurative allusion to its ensanguined condition, 
Governor Ramsey said that he had demanded from the president 
that $1,000 should be taken from the annuities of the Sacs and 
Foxes and used as an emollient to cleanse the blood from the 
medal; and that $1,000 should be taken from the Sac and Fox 
fund for every Sioux killed by them, and the amount turned over 
to the relatives of the victims. He further said that in the exer- 
cise of his discretion, the president had concluded that the money 
he was keeping ought to be expended in the education of the 
Indian children, but that the matter could be settled amicably if 
the treaty were speedily signed. The next day a brief council 
was held under Alexis Bailly's large brush arbor, which had been 
well appointed with stands, tables and seats for the chiefs. At 
this session, Wabasha, without comment, returned a draft of the 
treaty which on the previous day had been presented to the 
Indians for their consideration. There was an embarrassing 
silence for a time, and Colonel Lea said he hoped the treaty would 
soon be concluded, for he was at a great distance from his home, 
and having been a long time away, was most anxious to return. 
Chief Wacoota replied: "Our habits are different from those 
of the whites, and when we have anything important to consider 
it takes us a long time. To this diplomatic remark, Colonel Lea 
rejoined: "That is true; but this subject has been before you a 
long time. You are chiefs, not women and children ; you can 
certainly 'give us an answer tomorrow." The council then 
adjourned for the day. 

The next day, at the opening of the council, AVabasha arose 
and said he had listened to the words sent them by the Great 
Father and which the commissioners had delivered; "but," con- 
tinued he, "these other chiefs around me may have something to 
say also. I will sit and listen to what is said." After a long, 
constrained, and doubtless uncomfortable silence, Little Crow, 
graceful and deliberate, arose, and addressed the council. Little 
Crow, chief of the Kaposia band, was, without doubt, according 
to the evidence of his contemporaries, the brainiest, shrewdest 
and most influential Indian then west of the Mississippi. Dressed 
elaborately for the occasion, with a white shirt and collar, a 
gaudy neckchief, his tastefully embroidered medicine bag sus- 
pended from his neck, a red belt, with a silver buckle, about his 
waist, and wearing a pair of elaborately beaded trousers and 
moccasins, his long, black, curling hair, soft and almost as silken 
as a white woman's, flowing over his shoulders, and with his keen 
black eyes alight — he was indeed a striking and attractive fig- 


lire. His voice, attuned to the forests and the waterfalls, had 
nature's own musical intonations, and when he began to speak 
even the little Indian children, playing about the outskirts of the 
council, were silent. As reported by Alexander Faribault, the 
chieftain said : 

"Fathers: These chiefs and soldiers, and others who sit here, 
have something they wish said to you, and I am going to speak 
it for them. There are chiefs here who are older than myself, 
and I would rather they had spoken ; but they have put it upon 
me to speak, although I feel as if my mouth was tied. These 
chiefs went to Washington long ago and brought back a good 
report concerning the settlement of our affairs in the treaty 
made there, and they and we were glad. But things that were 
promised in that treaty have not taken place. This is why these 
men sit still and say nothing. You perhaps are ashamed (or dis- 
graced; "ishtenya" in Sioux) of us; but you, fathers, are the 
cause of it's being so. They speak of money that is due them; it 
was mentioned the other day to Governor Ramsey, and we spoke 
about it last fall, but we have not yet seen the money. We desire 
to have it laid down to us. It is money due on the old treaty, 
and I think it should be paid; we do not want to talk about a 
new treaty until it is all paid." 

The commissioners again declared that under the treaty the 
money which had been withheld was to be expended by the direc- 
tion of the president, and he had decided to apply it to the edu- 
cation of the Indian children. Perhaps, they said, there has been 
a misunderstanding as to what the other treaty meant. They 
desired now to make a treaty that would be so plain that there 
could, and would be no doubt, as to its meaning. Governor Ram- 
sey then said: "If this treaty can be arranged, as much money 
will be paid down to you as will be equal to your usual cash 
annuities for three years." The governor then thought to bring 
matters to an immediate conclusion. "Do you wish," he asked, 
"that this amount be paid to you as your other annuities have 
been?" The chiefs made a murmur of apparent assent, and the 
governor continued: "Do all the people want it paid in that 
way?" Little Crow replied that if it were divided for the 
Indians by the whites it would probably be best; if the Indians 
undertook to divide it there might be some difficulty. Governor 
Ramsey replied that the money was in "money boxes," and a 
long time would be required to count the money and get it ready, 
and in the meanwhile they would- go ahead with the treaty. But 
Little Crow said: "We will talk of nothing else but that money, 
if it is until next spring. That lies in the way of a treaty. I 
speak for others, and not for myself." 

After some protests against further delay on the part of the 


commissioners, the Indians saying nothing, the council adjourned 
until it should be called by the Indians. The next day the Indi- 
ans remained in their quarters until late in the afternoon, when 
messengers came saying that the chiefs were all assembled at the 
council house and wished their white fathers to attend. Very 
soon the council was in session, but after the opening there was 
a long silence. Finally Anah-ga-nahzhee (Stands Astride), the 
second chiefs or head soldier of the band of his brother, Shako- 
pee, remarked that it had been decided in council, the Indian 
council, that Wacoota should speak to the Indians. But Wacoota 
asked to be excused, and that some other Indian should speak. 
"I am of the same mind with my friend here, Wabasha, and will 
sit and listen," said Wacoota. There was no response. After 
a long wait the commissioners went over the whole subject 
again, and the Indians yet remaining silent, Colonel Lea at last 
said: "It is plain that the Medawakantons do not wish to sell 
their lands. I hope they will not regret it. This grieves my 
heart, and I know it will make the heart of your Great Father 
sad. Say to the chiefs and head men that we are all ready to 
meet them here tomorrow, or at any other time and place they 
desire." The commissioners now hastily adjourned, apparently 
in great ill humor, leaving the chiefs still on the benches, 
astounded at the conduct of their white brothers. There was an 
interregnum in the proceedings for four days. The time was 
spent by the whites in privately preparing a treaty which would 
be. acceptable to the Indians. The Medawakantons had become 
partially reconciled. The head chief, "Wabasha, was still opposed 
to any treaty as it had been proposed, but Little Crow and other 
sub-chiefs were in favor of one if the terms were fairly liberal 
and the assent of their bands could be obtained. Little Crow 
was particularly for a treaty and the sale of the big expanse of 
land to the westward, which, he said, did his people no good, 
which but very few of his band had ever visited, and which he 
himself had never seen. He disliked to abandon his old Kaposia 
home, because of its associations. Here were the graves of his 
father and mother and other kinspeople ; here was the site of his 
birthplace and of his boyhood, and here he had been chief of the 
old and noted band of his ancestors for more than four years. 
But Little Crow was shrewd and intelligent, and knew that the 
whites were pressing upon his people as they had pressed upon 
the other red people, and that the result would be the same as it 
had been — the Indians would be compelled to leave their country 
and move on. The wise course, therefore, it seemed to him, was 
to obtain the best terms possible — to get all of the money and 
other supplies and the best permanent reservation to be had. It 
was asserted that Little Crow had been well bribed by the 


traders, and by the commissioners, too, and that his opinions 
were the result of substantial considerations. If the charge were 
true, the conduct of Little Crow was somewhat strange. He 
spoke against considering the treaty until the money that was 
being held hack should be paid in hand. He demanded a reserva- 
tion that should come down the Minnesota to Traverse des Sioux, 
and he wanted all the money and goods, and the most favorable 
terms generally that could be had. He was in frequent consulta- 
tion with the commissioners during the days of waiting, and at 
the last announced that he was ready to sign the treaty, although 
some of the Indians had sworn that they would shoot the first 
man of their tribe who put his hand to the goose quill prepara- 
tory to subscribing to the hated contract. 

Monday, August 5. was an eventful day in the deliberations. 
The council met at 11 o'clock in the morning, and Chief Good 
Road, of one of the bands about Fort Snelling. was the first 
speaker. He said: "We have several things to say about the 
various matters before we sign this treaty.'' Colonel Lea replied: 
"The treaty has been prepared after we have all agreed as to its 
terms, and it is best not to delay any further. We will have the 
treaty read in English and explained in the Dakotah language, 
so that all can see that it is a good treaty." Rev. S. R. Riggs, 
the missionary, read the treaty slowly, and explained it in Sioux 
very fully. Governor Ramsey then said: 'The chiefs and head 
men have heard the treaty in their own language. Who will 
sign first .'" There was a silence of some minutes, when Colonel 
Lea indicated that Little Crow should be the first to sign, but the 
chief smiled and shook his head. At last Wabasha arose and 
said : 

"You have requested us to sign this paper, and you have told 
these people standing around that it is for their benefit; but I do 
not think so. In the treaty you have read you mention a lot 
about farmers, schools, physicians, traders and half-breeds, who 
are to be paid out of the money. To all of these I am opposed. 
You see these chiefs sitting around here. They and some others, 
who are dead, went to Washington twelve years ago and made 
a treaty in which some things were said ; but we were not bene- 
fited by them, and I want them struck out of this one. We want 
nothing but cash for our lands. Another thing : You have 
named a place for our home, but it is a prairie country. I am a 
man used to the woods, and do not like the prairies ; perhaps 
some of these who are here will name a place we would all like 
better. Another thing; when I went to Washington to see our 
Great Father, he asked us for our land, and we gave it to him. 
and he agreed to furnish us with provisions and goods for twenty 
years. I wish to remain in this country until that time expires. 


Colonel. Lea made an indignant and severe reply to AVabasha, 
although as a matter of fact Wabasha's request was not perhaps 
so very unreasonable. The colonel declared that the chief had a 
forked tongue, and was neither the friend of the white man or 
the Indians. "We know that the treaty does not meet his views, 
and we do not expect to be able to make one that will suit him," 
said Colonel Lea. "We know that he tried to deceive the Indi- 
ans and us. He wanted to have the Medawakantons and Wah- 
pakootas make a treaty by themselves — a separate treaty — and 
leave out the upper bands altogether. He did not want them to 
have a good treaty unless he could dictate just how it should be. 
He advised you to ask $6,000,000 for the land, which he knew 
was a foolish proposition. We are surprised to find a chief like 
him, whose father and grandfather were great chiefs. We have 
talked much about this treaty, and we have written and signed 
it, and now it is too late to talk of changing it." After Colonel 
Lea had finished this stinging rebuke., which must have gone deep 
to the heart of the proud old chief, there was evident dissatis- 
faction among the Indians. Governor Ramsey quickly asked: 
"Will either of the principal chiefs sign? Do they say yes .or 
no?" But they said neither. They were silent for a time, and 
•evidently displeased. For a while it looked as though the papers 
would not receive a single Indian signature. At last Bad Hail, 
the second chief of Gray Iron's band, arose and said that if* 
two claims against the whites could be settled, he and others 
would sign. Chief Shakopee then came forward and laid before 
the commissioners a written deed, made and signed by the 
Indians in 1837. and conveying to their kinswoman, Mrs. Lucy 
Bailly (nee Faribault), the wife of Alexis Bailly, three sec- 
tions of land, including the present site of the town of Shakopee. 
The chief said the Indians desired that this land be secured to 
Mrs. Bailly by the treaty, or that, instead, the sum of $10,000 in 
cash be paid her. Bad Hail presented another paper, providing 
that a provision be made in the treaty for the reservation of sev- 
eral hundred acres for the'heirs of Scott Campbell, the noted old 
interpreter at Fort Snelling. Stands Astride, the second chief 
of Shakopee 's band, demanded that the request made in both 
papers be complied with. But Colonel Lea replied: "Our Great 
Father will not allow us to write such things in treaties. If you 
wish to pay Mrs. Bailly $10,000 you can do so out of your own 
money when the treaty is ratified, and you can pay Scott Camp- 
bell's heirs as much as you please; the money will be yours." 
Little Crow again spoke, and was, as before, listened to with the 
deepest attention. He said he had been raised in a. country 
where there were plenty of trees and extensive woods, in which 
wild game could be found. If the Indian reservations were made 


hi extend eastward to Traverse des Sioux, there would be plenty 
of woods, and he would be satisfied. The land provided for the 
future home of his band was too much prairie. Shakopee's 
brother now came forward, and speaking very loudly and earn- 
estly, and to the point, said he represented the Indian soldiers, 
or braves, and was one of the owners of the land. "The chiefs 
don't seem to do anything," he said, "and we must be heard." 
Like Little Crow, he thought the east line of the proposed reser- 
vation was too high vip in the prairies, and he indicated Lake 
Minnetonka and Minnehaha creek as the locality where he 
thought the Medawakantons would, in the future, be willing to 
live and die, to make it the perpetual home of the band. He said 
the soldiers were satisfied with the other parts of the treaty. 
Governor Ramsey saw a valuable opportunity. He began flatter- 
ing not only the warrior who had spoken, but also the other 
Indian soldiers, saying they had spoken out boldly and like men. 
The commissioners, he said, have been waiting to hear what the 
warriors wanted. "Now," said the governor, "we will come 
down with the reservation to the Little Rock river, where it 
empties into the Minnesota; this line will certainly give you 
timber enough." Another soldier arose and demanded that the 
treaty with the Chippewas be abrogated so that he and the other 
Sioux could go to war against them whenever they pleased. No 
attention was paid to this speech except to laugh at it. Then 
( !hief AVacoota. the mild mannered, gentle hearted head of the 
Red Wing band, arose, and speaking somewhat slowly and delib- 
erately, made a somewhat lengthy speech, in which he said that 
the treaty was all right upon its face, but the Indians, and he 
among them, feared that when it was taken to Washington it 
would be changed to their great injury, just as the treaty of 
1837 had been changed. "I say it in good feeling," declared 
Wacoota, "but I think you yourselves believe it will be changed 
without our consent, as the other treaty was." He said as 
to future reservation, he wanted it south of where he and his 
band then lived (in the Cannon river country), or he would like 
his particular reservation to be at Pine Island or on the Mis- 
sissippi, which locality, he asserted, was a good place for the 
Indians. He wanted this condition put in the treaty if it was 
right and just, but if not, then "say no more about it." He 
declared he was pleased with the treaty generally, but hoped that 
the farming for the Indians would be better done than it had 
been. Governor Ramsey complimented "Wacoota "as a man I 
always listen to with great respect." Wacoota, it will thus 
be seen, wanted the reservation in the south part of what is now 
Minnesota, practically in what is now Goodhue county, others 
wanted it in other places, in fact there was so wide a diversity 


of opinion that the red men would probably never have agreed 
among themselves, even if the matter had been left entirely to 
them. The commissioners honestly considered that they had 
selected a good place for the Indian reservation. There would 
be plenty of wood and water, and the Indians could continue to 
hunt in the big woods and elsewhere in their former hunting 
grounds as usual until the whites should come in and settle 
upon the lands. 

Wabasha now arose and asked whether or not is was designed 
to distinguish the chiefs and second chiefs by marks of distinc- 
tion, and to allow them more money than the common Indians 
should receive. Colonel Lea answered: "Wabasha now talks 
like a man." The colonel said that it was due to the station and 
responsibility of the chiefs that they should be distinguished 
from the other Indians. He said that each chief ought to have a 
medal and a good house to live in, so that when his friends came 
to see him they could be accommodated properly. Wabasha again 
arose. This time he turned his back upon the commissioners 
and spoke to his warriors somewhat vehemently, but with dignity. 
"Young men," he said, "you have declared that the chief who 
got up first to sign the treaty, you would like killed; it is this 
talk that has caused all the difficulty. It seems that you have 
agreed among yourselves that you will sell the land, and you 
have done it in the dark. I want you to say now outright, before 
all' the people here, whether you are willing to sell the land." 
Shakopee's brother, the speaker for the warriors, sprang to his 
feet and called out excitedly: "Wabasha has accused us of 
something we never thought of. The warriors heard that the 
chiefs were making a treaty and they did not like it, for the 
land really belongs to the warriors and not to the chiefs; but they 
never spoke of killing the chiefs. It was true that the soldiers 
have got together and agreed to sell the land ; they have told 
him so, and now I have said so." Governor Ramsey, seeing his 
opportunity, quickly said: "This, then, being the understand- 
ing, let the soldiers tell us what chief shall sign first." Medicine 
Bottle, the head soldier of Little Crow's Kaposia band, arose 
and said: "To the people who did not go to Washington and 
make the treaty — to them belongs the land on this side of the river. 
There is one chief among us who did not go to Washington at 
that time, and the soldiers want him to sign first. He has been 
a great war chief, and he has been our leader against the Chip- 
pewas. It is Little Crow. We want him to sign first." Little 
Crow promptly arose. Without a tremor he faced the scowling 
warriors who had opposed the treaty, and in his well known 
clarion voice, keyed to a high pitch, he thus addressed them : 

"Soldiers, it has been said by some of you that the first that 


signs this treaty you will kill. Now I am willing to be first, 
but I am not afraid you will kill me. If you do, it will be all 
right. A man has to die sometime, and he ean die but once. 
It matters little to me when my time comes, nor do I care much 
how it comes, though I would rather die fighting our enemies. 
I believe this treaty will be best for the Dakotas, and I will 
sign it, even if a dog kills me before I lay down the goose quill." 
Then turning to the commissioners, he said: "Fathers, I hope 
you will be willing to let our new reservation come down to the 
Traverse des Sioux, so that our people can be comfortable and 
not crowded, and have plenty of good hunting and fishing 
grounds. The Swan lake and other lakes have plenty of fish 
and wild rice and there is plenty of wood. Rock creek is not 
far enough down for us. I am glad that we can hunt in the big 
woods as heretofore, but I hope you will bring our new home 
down to Traverse des Sioux.*' If Little Crow's request had been 
granted, the eastern boundary of the new reservation would have 
extended about forty miles below Rock creek, or two miles east 
of St. Peter, and Would have included the present sites of that 
city, New Ulm and Mankato. The commissioners declined the 
request. Colonel Lea said: "The reservation is all right as if 
is." Governor Ramsey said: "We have marked out a large 
piece of land for your home ; the soldiers asked us for more and 
we gave it. It is all that we can do." Colonel Lea added : "No 
man puts any food in his mouth by much talk, but often gets 
hungry if he talks too long. Let the Little Crow and the other 
chief's step forward and sign." Finding the commissioners firm, 
Little Crow now stepped to the table and, being handed a chair, 
sat down and signed each of the duplicate copies of the treaty. 
It has been said that Little Crow was taught to write by the Rev. 
Briggs at Lac cpii Parle, and another account declares with 
equal assurance that his teacher was the Rev. Dr. AVilliamson, 
at Kaposia. To the treaty Little Crow signed his original name, 
Tah O-ya-te Duta, meaning His Red Nation. Wabasha was the 
next to sign, making his mark. Then the other chiefs, head 
soldiers and principal warriors crowded around to affix their 
marks. In all there were sixty-five Indian signatures. Of Wa- 
coota 's band, the following affixed their signatures : Chief Wah- 
koo-tay, the Shooter; his head, soldier, Iron Cloud; and his 
principal warriors. Good Iron Voice, Stands on the Ground, 
Stands Above, Sacred Fire, Red Stones, Sacred Blaze and Iron 

At Mendota, as at Traverse des Sioux, when the treaty was 
concluded, each Indian signer stepped to another table where 
lay another paper which he signed. This was called the traders' 
paper, and was an agreement to pay the "just debts," so called, 


of the Indians, including those present and absent, alive and 
dead, owing to the traders and the trading company. Some of 
the accounts were nearly thirty years old, and the Indians who 
had contracted them were dead; but the bands willingly assumed 
the indebtedness and agreed that it might be discharged out of 
the first money paid them. The territory ceded by the two 
treaties was declared to be: "All their lands in the state of 
Iowa, and also all their lands in the territory of Minnesota lying 
east of the following line, to-wit : Beginning at the junction of 
Buffalo river with the Red River of the North (about twelve 
miles north of Morehead, at Georgetown station, in Clay county), 
thence along the western bank of said Red River of the North, 
to the mouth of the Sioux Wood river; thence along the western 
bank of said Sioux "Wood river to Lake Traverse; thence along 
the western shore of said lake to the southern extremity thereof; 
thence, in a direct line, to the juncture of Kampeska lake with 
the Tehan-Ka-Sna-Duka, or Sioux river ; thence along the western 
bank of said river to its point of intersection with the northern 
line of the state of Iowa, including all islands in said rivers and 

The lower bands, in which designation were included Wa- 
coota's and Wabasha's bands, were to receive $1,410,000, to be 
paid in the manner and form following: For settling debts and 
removing themselves to the new reservation, $220,000. one-half to 
the Medawakanton bands, and one-half to the single Wahpa- 
koota band; for schools, mills, and opening farms. $30,000. Of 
the principal of $1,410,000, the sum of $30,000 in cash was to be 
distributed among the two bands as soon as the treaty was 
ratified, and $28,000 was to be expended annually under the 
president's direction as follows: To a civilization fund. $12,000; 
to an educational fund. $6,000; for goods and provisions, $10,000. 
The balance of the principal, or $1,160,000, was to remain in trust 
with the United States at five per cent interest, to be paid 
annually to the Indians for fifty years, commencing July J, 
1852. The $58,000 annuity interest was to be expended as the 
first installment— $30,000 in cash, $12,000 for civilization, $6,000 
for education, and $10,000 for goods and provisions. The back 
annuities under the treaty of 1837 remaining unexpired were 
also to be paid annually. Their reservation was to extend from 
the mouth of the Yellow Medicine and Hawk creek southeasterly 
to the mouth of Rock creek, a tract twenty miles wide and about 
forty-five miles in length. The half-breeds of the Sioux were 
to receive in cash $150,000 in lieu of the lands allowed them 
under the Prairie du Chien treaty of 1830, but which they had 
failed to claim. 

The written copies of the Traverse des Sioux and the Men- 


dota treaties, duly signed and attested, were forwarded to Wash- 
ington to be acted upon by the senate at the ensuing session of 
Congress. An unreasonably long delay resulted. Final action 
was not had until the following summer, when, on July 23, 
the senate ratified both treaties with important amendments. 
The provisions for reservations for both the upper and lower 
bands were stricken out, and substitutes adopted, agreeing to 
pay ten cents an acre for both reservations, and authorizing the 
president, with the assent of the Indians, to cause to be set apart 
other reservations, which were to be within the limits of the 
original great session. The provision to pay $150,000 to the 
half-bloods of the lower bands was also stricken out. The 
treaties, with the changes, came back to the Indians for final 
ratification and agreement to the alterations. The chiefs of the 
lower bands at first objected very strenuously, but finally, on 
Saturday, September 1, 1852, at Governor Ramsey's residence 
in St. Paul, they signed the amended articles, and the following 
Monday the chiefs and head men of the upper bands affixed 
their marks. As amended, the treaties were proclaimed by 
President Fillmore February 24, 1853. The Indians were allowed 
to remain in their old villages, or if they preferred, to occupy 
their reservations as originally designated, until the president 
selected their new homes. That selection was never made, and 
the original reservations were finally allowed them. The removal 
of the lower Indians to their designated reservation began in 
1853, but was intermittent, interrupted, and extended over a 
period of several years. The Indians weat up in detachments,, 
as they felt inclined. After living on the reservation for a time, 
some of them returned to their old hunting grounds about Men- 
dota, Kaposia, Wabasha, Red Wing and the Cannon river 
country, where they lived continuously for some time, visiting 
their reservation and agency only at the time of the payment 
of their annuities. Finally, by the offer of cabins to live in, or 
other substantial inducements, nearly all of them were induced 
to settle on the Redwood Reserve, so that in 1862, at the time 
of the outbreak, less than twenty families of the Medawakantons 
and Wahpakootas were living off their reservation. AA'ith the 
subsequent history of these Indians this volume will not deal in 
detail; the purpose of dealing with the Indians thus far in this 
chapter having been to show the various negotiations by which 
Goodhue county and the surrounding territory came into the 
possession of the whites and was thus opened for settlement and 

A few of the descendants of the original Goodhue county 
Sioux now live at Prairie Island, where they have a settlement 
of their own and a small Episcopal chapel. It will be recalled 


that after the signing of the treaty ceding this and other counties 
to the whites the Indians moved to the designated reservation. 
After the Indian outbreak of 1862 they were removed to the 
Santee reservation in Nebraska. For several years after the out- 
break an Indian's life was not safe in this county, among the 
indignant whites. The intense feeling after a time died away, 
and a few Indians wandered back. Their hearts longed for 
the scenes of their youth, and one by one they located on 
Prairie Island. Finally several families relinquished their rights 
in the Santee country, and in return the government built them 
houses and made them as comfortable as possible at Prairie 
Island. The annuities have now expired, and these descendants 
of the original owners earn their living on their little farms and 
do various work for the farmers of the county. Their children 
attend the public schools, and the families evidently live in con- 
tentment and happiness, although in their hearts they still long 
for the old days of hunting and fishing and the free, wild out- 
door life, when the country was all theirs and the demands of 
conventionality unknown. 

Hon. William C. Williston, now deceased, was one of the most 
eminent of Minnesota jurists, occupying the bench of the First 
Judicial distrid from 1891 until the time of his death, June 22, 
1909. He was bora at Cheraw, Chesterfield county, South Caro- 
lina, June 22. 1830, son of William K. and Annis (Chapman) 
Williston, the former of whom was a native of Simsbury, Conn., 
and the latter of South Hampton. Mass. The parents went to 
South Carolina in the late twenties, and Ihere the father engaged 
in the mercantile business. In 1834 the family removed to Char- 
don. Geauga county. Ohio. There the mother died in 1863, and 
the father came to Red YVing, where he ended his days. During 
his boyhood, William was an ap1 pupil in the schools of his neigh- 
borhood, and early entertained the idea of studying for the legal 
profession. Such an opportunity later presented itself, and after 
several years of training in the office of Riddle & Thrasher, of 
Chardon. Ohio, he was admitted to the bar in 1854. His first 
practice was as a junior partner in the office of his preceptors, 
the firm name being Riddle, Thrasher & Williston. Two years 
later Mr. Williston left Chardon and came to Red W^ing, becom- 
ing a partner in the firm of Wilder & Williston in 1859. In 1862 
the Civil W T ar had broken out, and repeated calls for volunteers 
were being sent to the northern states. Desiring to be of service 
to his country, Mr. AVilliston raised a company of volunteers, of 
which he was elected captain. This company was organized in 
August, 1862. with the expectation of doing service in the South, 
but the outbreaking of the Indian outrages caused a demand for 
fighting nearer home. Going into service as Company G, Seventh 


Lrrr** so 


/htax-vfy. /7z/t^^^_ 



■J- J 


.Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, Captain Williston 's command was 
ordered with the rest of the regiment on an expedition against 
the Indians. The regiment engaged in the battle of Wood Lake, 
September 22, 1862, and was stationed at frontier posts until 
May, 1863, when again ordered on an Indian expedition, engaging 
the Reds in battle July 24, 26 and 28, 1863. Company G was then 
ordered to St. Louis, Mo., October 7, 1863, where Captain Willis- 
ton remained till the spring of '64, when he tendered his resigna- 
tion and after its acceptance returned to Red Wing, where he 
resumed his practice with Judge Wilder. In. 1872 he entered into 
partnership with 0. M. Hall, this arrangement continuing for 
several years. His first appointment as district judge came in 
1891 from Governor William R. Merriam. He was elected to the 
position in 1892, and then successively re-elected until his death. 
His associate on the bench was the Hon. F. M. Crosby, of Hast- 
ings. Judge Williston represented the county in the legislature 
in 1873-74, served in the senate in 1876-77, was clerk of the city 
schools seventeen years, and city attorney several terms at vari- 
ous times. He was an independent voter, a communicant of the 
Episcopal Church for fifty years, and a member of the Masons. 
William C. Williston was married in 1854, at Chardon, Ohio, to 
Mary E. Canfield, of that place, daughter of Austin and Lodemia 
(Benton) Canfield. To this union were born two sons and two 
daughters. William F. C. is deceased. Julia W. is the wife of 
John H. Rich of Red AYing. Annie C. is the wife of Louis Phelps r 
now of Wyoming. Eugene, the youngest son. died in infancy. 



Half-Breed Tract — The Location and Purpose — Issue of Scrip — 
Difficulties Which Ensued — Threats and Recourse to Wash- 
ington Finally Settle the Matter — Spirit Lake Massacre 
— Investigation by Red Wing Men — Uprising of 1862. 

The difficulty in regard to the "Half-breed tract," so called, 
was a source of much inconvenience to the early settlers in 
Goodhue county. As has previously been mentioned, the lower 
hands of Sioux had succeeded in having set off a certain tract 
of land, lying largely in the present Goodhue county, for the 
benefit of their half-bloods. There is little doubt that the Indian 
traders and those in their employ were the chief instruments 
in having such a reservation made. The persons who would be 
entitled to share in the tract were at that time chiefly children 
under age. This land was not laid off into townships and 
sections by the surveyors until about a year after the other parts 
of the county had been surveyed. A few settlors, however, had, 
by permission of some of the relatives of the Indians, settled 
within the tract. Some had .purchased rights of some mixed 
bloods and had made a claim accordingly. "When the United 
States survey was finally made, no attention was paid to previous 
boundaries, the townships and sections being laid down in the 
usual order, and in conformity with the adjacent lands. Soon 
after the land office was opened in Red Wing, a list of the 
names of all persons entitled to a share in the reserved tract 
was made out and sent to the general land office in Washington. 
Scrip was immediately issued to each name, designating the 
number of acres the person named was entitled to. General 
Shields brought the scrip to Minnesota for distribution. A great 
portion of this scrip passed into the hands of parents or guard- 
ians of children, and from them it passed into the hands of 
speculators. About this time there were probably two hundred 
families of whites settled upon this tract. Many of them held 
quit claims from individual half-breeds for a certain number of 
acres. But the land office could not recognize the quit claims, 



for obvious reasons. Nothing but the scrip from the general 
land office would avail in filing an entry upon any portion of this 
land. Speculators saw their opportunity and began to take up 
the land by "laying the scrip," as the act was called, in the 
land office. The choicest locations were already occupied by 
settlers, and those who held scrip could enter the lands these 
settlers had chosen, in many cases where extensive improvements 
had been made, the soil broken, crops raised, and buildings and 
fences erected. The actual settlers had the sympathy of all the 
surrounding population, but holders of the scrip had the legal 
advantage of the situation, and commenced to obtain titles to 
farms already improved. This caused the settlers to rally in 
self-defense. Red Wing, in particular, was a scene of excite- 
ment, for here was located the land office, and the eastern part 
of the township was included in this troublesome tract. Meetings 
were held by the actual settlers and counsel taken as to methods 
of procedure. They assessed upon themselves a tax, raised 
money, and "sent one man to Washington to demand justice, as 
they called it, in their behalf. They secured from the land 
office correct copies of plats of all the townships and fractional 
townships included within the tract, and upon whatever quarter- 
section a settler had made his improvements, that quarter-section 
was definitely marked. Holders of scrip were publicly warned 
against filing upon such land. At a meeting of those interested 
in the cause of the settlers, which was held at the Kelley House 
m Red Wing, March 17. 1856. a vigilance committee was chosen 
to prevent any more scrip being laid upon land already occu- 
pied. This committee was empowered to demand that in every 
case where scrip had been laid on the land of actual settlers 
said scrip should immediately be raised. This committee was 
composed of twenty-one members. They were men of dauntless 
courage and muscular power, and devoted their whole time and 
energy to the work appointed until it was accomplished. Two 
of them stood as sentinels at the land office, armed with loaded 
revolvers, constantly watching every transaction therein, being 
relieved by another two at stated times. In the meantime the 
majority of the committee were acting as detectives, arresting 
and bringing to trial those who had offended, the trial not being 
before a court of justice, but before the committee. There was 
at that time no court house and no jail, and the lawyers knew 
that the scrip holders were acting within their legal rights. The 
kind of justice meted out is shown by the following case, related 
by the Rev. J. W. Hancock : 

"A former Indian trader lived on Lake Pepin. He had been 
a member of the territorial legislature, was a man of some 
notoriety, whose well known character has procured for him the 


title of 'Bully.' He had succeeded in 'laying' some half-breed 
scrip upon land occupied by a settler. The committee watched 
his movements, knowing that his family was entitled to a large 
amount of scrip, and waited for his next visit to the land office, 
which was not many days after. He came as far as the door 
of the land office, when he was taken into the custody of a 
strong guard of armed men. whose leader commanded him to 
march into the office forthwith and raise the entry he had made 
upon a settler's land by scrip. He utterly refused to comply with 
this demand and defied the committee to compel him to do so. 
Meantime preparations were made for his trial and its conse- 
quences. "Witnesses were summoned and he was convicted of 
refusing to obey the mandate of the committee. He was then 
escorted down to the river, which was still covered with ice, 
although it was near the close of March. Very near the middle 
of the stream a hole had been cut big enough to put a good 
sized man into. He was there told to take his choice either 
to go immediately to the land office, and in the presence of the 
members of the committee, raise that entry of scrip or be put 
down through the ice. He looked into the faces of those 
determined men a moment, and made up his mind to go and do 
as they had ordered in relation to the scrip." 

There were several cases of this kind, disposed of by threats, 
but it is said thai uo personal injury was inflicted on anyone 
A few weeks later a decision from the land office at Washington 
obviated the need of such a committee. By this decision, those 
who had settled upon a tract and made improvements thereon 
had the preemption and homestead rights, the same as on other 
government lands. The same decision granted to the holders 
of half-breed scrip the privilege of laying the same upon any 
other government land not previously claimed by an actual 
settler. All the vacant land on the half-breed tract was taken 
very soon after this decision, the situation near the river enhanc- 
ing its value. The disadvantage of a distance of a few miles from 
market was considered a great drawback in those days, before 
the advent of the railroads. Few or none of the mixed bloods 
ever cared to settle on the land thus set apart for them. Occa- 
sionally, a decade or so afterward, there was an echo of this 
half-breed affair, when some half-blood whose guardian had sold 
his (the half-breed's) scrip rights would, upon attaining his 
majority, demand of the settler on the property that he, too, he 
paid. In most cases these demands were complied with, the 
farmers, whose land had greatly enhanced in value, deeming it 
wiser to pay a small sum than to undergo the expense of a 

Thus passed the last vestige of Indian title to the rich valleys 


and plains of this county, which was once, and for countless 
generations, a camping and hunting ground of the red men. 

Any account of the relations between the Indians and Good- 
hue county whites would be incomplete without mention of the 
Spirit Lake massacre. The Sioux of Red Wing's village used to 
I mast that although they had killed the Chippewas whenever 
they had found any, they nor any of their tribe had ever killed 
a white person. But this was in 1850 that they so proudly made 
their boast of their peaceable inclination toward the wmites. 
In the spring of 1856 Red Wing enterprise fitted out a company 
of men consisting of G. W. Granger, Barton Snyder and Isaac 
Harriett, and sent them down to Spirit lake to select land claims 
and found a town. In the fall of 1856 there were seven cabins 
around the lake, all of which were occupied. The occupants 
were a man named Thatcher and family. Marble and family, 
Judge Howe and family, Mattox and family, and Isaac Harriett, 
Barton Snyder and G. W. Granger, the three last named occupy- 
ing one cabin and keeping ■"bachelor's hall." 

For some years previous to this, a few Dakota Indians and 
outlaws, under the lead of an excommunicated Dakota Indian 
named Inkpadootah, had been roving through that part of Iowa. 
They had been driven away from their own people and were a 
band unto themselves — insolent, devilish, murderous wretches; 
and on Sunday. March 8, 1856, they came to Spirit Lake, and 
almost immediately commenced their hellish work. Mr. Neill 
says they proceeded to a cabin occupied only by men. and asked 
for beef. L T nderstanding. as they afterward asserted, that they 
received permission to kill one of the cattle, they did so. and com- 
menced cutting it up. when one of the white men went out and 
knocked the Dakota down. In retaliation the white man was 
shot and killed, and, surrounding the house, the Indians set fire 
to the thatched roof and killed the occupants as they attempted 
to escape from the burning building — eleven in all. 

Other authorities say there was no beef demanded by the 
Indians, no beef killed, and that Inkpadootah w T as not assaulted 
hy any of the white men, but that the attack was instigated solely 
and simply by Indian treachery and thirst for blood. This ver- 
sion of the affair is maintained by Isaac Lauver, W. W. DeKay, 
George Huntington and a Mr. Patten, who went down to Spirit 
Lake from Red "Wing about the 31st of March, as soon as they 
beard of the massacre, to bury the remains of the murdered 
victims and look after the claim interests. 

At about the same time the murdering wretches went to a 
cabin occupied by a man named Gardner and his family, and 
asked for something to eat. Everything in the house was given 
them. While they were disposing of Gardner's hospitality, his 


son-in-law and another man who was there went out to see 
if everything was right at the neighboring cabin — the one just 
mentioned as being set on fire. It was their last mission, for 
some of the Indians were in ambush, and shot and killed them 
also. The Indians left Gardner's after securing all the food 
the cabin contained, but returned in the latter part of the after- 
noon and killed Gardner, his wife, two daughters and his grand- 
children, and carried away as a prisoner one other, named Abbey. 
That night or the next morning they visited the homes of Noble 
and Thatcher, who had settled there, and carried Mrs. Noble and 
Mrs. Thatcher prisoners to their camp. On Monday a man 
named Markham went to Gardner's on some errand, and found 
the murdered bodies of the entire family. Markham hid himself 
until darkness came on, and then went to Springfield and 
reported the murder. 

The following Thursday. March 12, an Indian called at 
Marble's cabin, three miles above Thatcher's, and told her that 
the white people down the lake had been nipped (killed) a day 
or two before. This intelligence alarmed the Marbles, the more 
so as the great depth of snow then on the ground had prevented 
communication with the settlement below for some days; but, 
fearing the worst, it was impossible for the Marble family to 
inaugurate any measures for flight, or other means of safety. 
The next morning, Friday, the 13th, four Indians, with friendly 
bearing, came to Marble's and bantered him to trade rifles. 
The trade was made, after which they prevailed on Marble to go 
out on the lake and shoot at a mark. After a few shots they 
turned in the direction of the house, and managing to get Marble 
in advance of them, the Indians shot him, and he fell 
dead in his tracks. Mrs. Marble, who had been watching the 
maneuvering of the fiends, saw her husband fall, and ran to him, 
when the bloody wretches seized her and told her they would not 
kill her, but that they would take her with them, and she was 
carried to the camp, where they had previously taken Mrs. Noble 
and Mrs. Thatcher and Miss Gardner. 

Inkpadootah and his followers next went to Springfield, 
where, a week or two later, they butchered the entire settlement. 
The alarm was sent to Fort Ridgely, and a detachment of soldiers 
was sent out in pursuit. They found and buried two bodies, and 
the Iowans, who had volunteered and started out to avenge the 
murders and outrages as soon as they heard of their perpetration, 
found and buried twenty-nine others. Besides these thirty-one 
bodies that were found and buried, others were still missing. 

Learning that soldiers were in pursuit of them, the outlaws 
made haste to leave the vicinity of their depredations, carrying 
the four women along with them. They were forced to carry 


heavy burdens by day, and to cut wood, build fires and do other 
camp duty when night came. In consequence of poor health 
and recent childbirth, Mrs. Thatcher became burdensome, and at 
Big Sioux river, when attempting to cross on the trunks of 
trees fallen from the opposite banks, she was pushed off into the 
deep, cold water by one of the Indians. She swam to the shore, 
when they pushed her back into the current, and then shot at 
•her, as if she were a target, until life was extinct. 

In May two men from Lac qui Parle, who had been taught 
to read and write, while on their spring hunt found themselves 
in the neighborhood of Inkpadootah and his party. Having 
heard that they held some American women in captivity, the 
two brothers visited the camp, though this was at some risk of 
their own lives, since Inkpadootah 's hand was now against every 
man, and found the outlaws and succeeded in bargaining for 
Mrs. Marble, whom they conveyed to their mother's mission 
and reclothed in civilized costume. From thence she was con- 
veyed to St. Paul, where the citizens welcomed her and made 
up a purse of $1,000. with which she was presented. 

The rescue of the other two women was now resolved upon, 
and Flandrau, the Dakota agent, commissioned a ''good Indian" 
named Paul by the whites to accomplish their redemption. He 
was fitted out with a wagon, two horses and some valuable 
presents, and started on his mission. He found Inkpadootah 
and his iniquitous cut-throats with a band of Yanktons on the 
James river. Only Miss Gardner was living. Mrs. Noble had 
been murdered a few nights before. She had been ordered 
to go out and be subject to the wishes of the party, and refusing 
to go, a son of Inkpadootah dragged her out by the hair of 
her head and killed her. The next morning a Dakota woman 
took Miss Gardner out to see the corpse, which had been horribly 
treated after death. By perseverance and large presents, Paul 
succeeded in redeeming Miss Gardner, and she was taken to the 
mission house. From there she was taken to St. Paul, from 
whence she was sent to her sister in Iowa. 

The same year, about the last of June or first of July. Ink- 
padootah 's son, said to have been the murderer of Mrs. Noble, 
was killed while seeking to escape arrest for that cruel butchery. 
Keports became current that he was in camp on l^ellow Medicine 
river. Flandrau and a detachment of soldiers from Fort Ridgely, 
acompanied by some Indian guides, started for the camp to arrest 
him. As they approached the camp the alarm was given and 
the murderer ran from his lodge and concealed himself in the 
brush near the river, but was soon uncovered and shot by United 
States soldiers. The rest of the gang managed to escape, and 
are said to have taken refuge beyond the Missouri river. 


The Red Wing party who went down to Spirit Lake to bury 
the dead, etc, as already mentioned, found the remains of 
Granger by the side of the cabin he occupied in common with 
Snyder and Harriett. Granger had first been shot, and then 
his head cut off from above the mouth and cars with a broadaxe. 
The remains of Harriett and Snyder were found about forty rods 
distant, with several bullet holes through their bodies. The 
presumption was they had started out to defend one of the other 
cabins and that they were shot and killed where their bodies 
were found. 

Aside from the scare, which was general up and down the 
state, the people of Goodhue county did not suffer during the 
outbreak of 1862, although a number of men from the county 
participated in General Sibley's expedition against the murderers. 

Judge Eli T. Wilder, whose name will always stand for that 
which was sturdy and good in pioneer life, was born in Hart- 
land. Conn.. November 27, 1813. There he spent his early boy- 
hood, and attended the district schools. In 1837, at the age of 
nineteen, he moved to Ashtabula, Ohio, later going to Paynes- 
ville. in the same state, where he commenced the practice of law. 
In the early fifties he was elected judge of the court of common 
pleas of that district, a position he filled faithfully and honor- 
ably. In 1855 he started a real estate office in Dubuque, Iowa, 
with offices in several adjoining A'illages and town. It was 
in 1856 that he took up his home in Red Wing. Arriving 
here, he continued the land business and again took up the prac- 
tice of laAv. In this profession he associated himself with Judge 
AY. A. Williston, the firm name being Wilder and Williston. He 
was one of the first members of Christ church, of Red Wing, 
presented that church with a beautiful altar, and devoted the 
latter years of his life largely to church work. He was one of 
the first wardens and continued in that position until the time of 
his death. At one time Judge Wilder was persuaded to run for 
congress on the Democratic ticket, to which party he paid his 
political allegiance. He died at his home here, June 3, 1904. 
Judge Wilder was first married to Julia W. AVakefield, of Con- 
necticut, who died in 1866. In 1868, at Waterloo, X. Y., he was 
married to Larissa Kendig, who survived him. At. the time of 
his death it was said of him: "Judge Wilder was an ideal citi- 
zen, honest and upright in all his dealings, and always taking a 
deep interest in the welfare and progress of the city.'' 

Hon. E. T. Wilder 








Boundary Lines Given — First Election — "Judge" Young and His 
Ballot Box — Imported Voters — County Officers Appointed — 
First Session of Board — Court House Resolution — School 
Districts — A Few Early Sessions — Court House Contract — 

The first legislature of the new territory met at St. Paul, 
September 3, 1849. and adjourned November 1 of the same year. 
This legislature at once set about performing the highly impor- 
tant work of dividing the territory into counties. Those created 
at that time were AVashington, Ramsey, Benton, Itaska, "Wabasha, 
Dakota, Cass and Pembina. The land designated as comprising 
the first three counties named had been ceded to the United 
States by the Indians, who still remained in practical possession 
of the rest of the territory. It was therefore declared in the 
act that the other named counties were organized for the purpose 
of the appointment of justices of the peace, constables, and such 
other judicial officers as might be specially provided for. The 
county of Wabasha, as defined by that legislature, included all 
that part of the territory lying east of a line running due south 
from Pine Bend, on the Mississippi river, to the Iowa line, which 
tract has since been divided into eight counties, namely, Wa- 
basha, Winona, Olmsted, Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Dodge and 
Goodhue. March 5, 1853, when the present counties of Dakota 
and Goodhue were set off, the boundaries were rather vaguely 
and indefinitely outlined, on account of the absence of United 
States surveys. Goodhue county was then bounded as follows: 
Beginning at the southeast corner of Dakota county, thence due 
southeast on a line twenty-five miles, thence on a due line to 
Lake Pepin, at a point on said lake seven miles below Sand 
Point, thence up the middle of said lake and the Mississippi 
river to the boundary line of Dakota county, thence along the 
line of said county to the place of beginning. These boundaries 
were modified by subsequent legislation, February 23, 1854, and 
made to conform with the United States survey. The county of 



Goodhue was attached to Wabasha for judicial purposes, and the 
legislature further enacted that at any general election after 
March, 1853 ; the county of Goodhue might he organized for all 
county purposes, provided that at the election there should be 
not less than fifty legal votes cast. The law under which the 
county was organized authorized the governor to appoint all 
county officers until the next general election thereafter. The 
first Tuesday in October was named as the day for general 
election, and as the only two questions upon which the people of 
the county could vote were for the location of the county seat 
and for a representative to the territorial legislature, party 
feeling did not run very high. There was. however, a necessity 
for calling out the fifty voters required by the legislative ad 
which created the county. AVacoota and Red AVing at once 
became rivals for the location of the county scat. It was a1 thai 
time supposed that AVacoota was designed to become a great 
city, and the lumbermen who had made it their headquarters 
were anxious to have the county seat located there. The people 
of Red AVing. just as confident in the future of their village, 
were just as anxious as were their brethren down the river. A 
discussion of "ways and means" by the citizens of Red AA T ing 
resulted in the hiring of some twenty unmarried men from St. 
Paul. These young men were at once set at work at various 
occupations. The law required six months' residence in the ter- 
ritory, but ten days in the precinct gave to a citizen of the terri- 
tory the right to vote. These young men being already citizens 
of the territory, it can easily be seen that ten days' employment 
in Red AVing duly qualified them to become voters in the new 
county. The fateful first Tuesday in October, 1853, duly arrived, 
and great preparations were made for the election. There being 
no one in Red Wing at that time qualified to administer the oath 
of office to the judges of election, one Benjamin Young, a French 
half-blood, who had been selected as one of the judges, journeyed 
to Point Douglass and found a justice who administered the 
legally required oath. Thus equipped with the dignity of the 
law. "Judge" Young returned fully prepared to act and to 
qualify the others to act. It was found that there was no ballot 
box, and Young, having already covered himself with immortal 
glory as the first judge of election in Goodhue county, proved 
equal to the second emergency and provided for the deficiency 
an empty tea chest. A conspicuous feature of the decorations on 
this chest was a dove of peace with red wings — surely a fitting 
emblem for the village in w T hich the election was held. The 
statutes of the state of AViseonsin were used as the authority 
as to the manner of conducting the election, and "Judge" 
Young proved fully appreciative of the solemnity of the occasion. 


He guarded the purity of the ballol box with great caution, and 
was more Hum particular in regard to any votes which favored 
Wacoota as the county scat. At that time a number of men were 
employed in cutting wood for steamboats at various points up 
and down the river. Thej Lived in their respective wood yards, 
and as the Line between the slate of Wisconsin and the territory 
of Minnesota was not clearly understood by the judges, it seemed 
necessary for them to challenge every woodchopper and oblige 
him to swear in his -vote. This perhaps seemed all the more 
necessary by reason of the fact that these lumbermen were more 
or less connected in a business way with the lumbermen at 
Wacoota and were likely to favor that place as county seat. 
Men in citizens 7 dress, on the other hand, were more likely to 
favor Red Wing, and of course to the Red Wing judges the 
honor and qualifications of these gentlemen were above suspicion. 
James Wells, who lived on the border of Lake Pepin, was tlie 
candidate for the Legislature. Having no opposing candidate,. 
he was elected. He was not an educated man, and the pre-elec- 
tion speech which he made in Red Wing is said to have been 
very rare and racy, but unfortunately no notes remain to give the 
present generation an inkling of what was the subject-matter 
of that first political speech delivered in Goodhue county. The 
necessary fifty votes were cast, and Red Wing, receiving a ma- 
jority, became the county seat. In the spring of the following 
year Governor Ramsey appointed county officers, as follows : 
Sheriff, P. S. Fish; treasurer, Calvin Potter; register of deeds, 
J. W. Hancock; district attorney, Charles Gardner; clerk of 
district court,, P. Sandford; justice of the peace, James Akers; 
county commissioners, William Lauver, H. L. Bevans. Rezin 

The first session of the board of county commissioners was 
held at 3 o'clock on the afternoon of June 16, 1854, on a pile 
of lumber at what is now the intersection of Main and Bush 
streets, in the city of Red Wing. H. L. Bevans was chosen as 
chairman of the board and Joseph W. Hancock, register of deeds, 
was ex-officio clerk of the board. But little business was trans- 
acted. L. Bates, John Day and M. Sorin were named as assessors 
and the following districts were assigned them : The northern 
district, including that portion of the county between the north- 
ern boundary and Hay creek, was assigned as Mr. Bates' district. 
The middle district, including that portion of the county between 
Hay creek and Bullard's creek, was assigned as Mr. Day's dis- 
trict. The southern district, including that portion of the county 
not included in the other two districts, and the whole of Wabasha 
county, was assigned as Sorin 's district. 

The next meeting was held June 28, and several bills were 

Ot*#^* r% ~- m a . 


presented, as follows : W. S. Combs, blank books, $23.85 ; Leman 
Bates, assessor, $6; John Day, assessor, $16; total, $45.85. The 
returns made by the assessors showed the assessed valuation 
of taxable property in the first and second districts to be $63,305. 
The estimated expenses of the county for the year 1851 were 
$551.09, and it Avas ordered that a tax of one per cent be raised 
on the assessment to meet the same. Charles Spates was ap- 
pointed road supervisor of road district Xo. 1, which extended 
east to the west side of Hay creek and embraced all the north- 
western portion of the county from that line. T. J. Smith was 
appointed supervisor of road district No. 2, which extended from 
the west side of Hay creek to Bullard's creek, embracing the 
middle portion of the county. ( 'harles Reed was appointed super- 
visor of road district No. 3. embracing all the southern portion 
of the county from the line of Bullard's creek. William Free- 
born. P. Sandford and Leman Bates were appointed judges of 
election in the Red Wing precinct, and Al'exis Bailey, Charles 
Reed and F. S. Richardson in the Wabasha precind. Wibasha 
having attached to this county for judicial purposes. 

The following resolution was passed : Resolved, To raise $600 
toward the erection of county buildings next year; Provided, 
that the legal voters of the county, by a majority of votes con- 
sent to the same. The location of the court house was discussed 
at some length, and the subject finally laid over until the fol- 
lowing meeting. At the next meeting, held July 22. the following 
resolution was passed: Resolved, That the court house for Good- 
hue county be located on the block marked and known as " Court 
House Block" on the town plat of Red Wing, according to the 
survey of the same made by J. Knauer, June 23, 1853. The 
next meeting was held November 18, and the consideration of 
bills against the county was taken up. Bills were allowed to the 
amount of $84.60, and sheriff and justice fees to the amount of 
$84.60 were ordered paid. At the closing session, in December, 
the amount of $61 additional was allowed, making the total 
expenses of the county for the year $336.90. 

On the second Tuesday in October, 1854, the people elected 
a full board of county officers : Commissioners, Rezin Spates, 
A. W. Post, P. S. Fish ; sheriff, Harry C. Hoffman ; treasurer, M. 
Sorin ; district attorney, P. Sandford ; judge of probate, A. D. 
Shaw; county surveyor, S. A. Hart; clerk of the court, P. San- 
ford ; register of deeds, J. W. Hancock. The first meeting of the 
regularly elected board of county commissioners was held Jan- 
uary 1, 1855. No business was transacted at this meeting. The 
members simply subscribed to the oath of office and elected P. 
S. Fish as chairman. At their second meeting, held January .8, 
the board examined and approved the following accounts: 


Charles Spates, for services as supervisor, $5; H. S. Simmons, 
burial expenses of a German pauper, $6; total, $11. At this 
session of the board the first grand and petit juries were selected, 
the former consisting of fifty members and the latter of seventy- 
two members. The jurors were divided between Goodhue and 
Wabasha counties according to population, the two counties, as 
previously noted, being attached together for judicial purposes. 
A readjustment of the assessment districts was also agreed 
upon. The first district included that portion of the county 
between Hay creek and the northwestern line of the county; the 
second district included that portion between Hay creek and 
Potter's creek; the third district was composed of the remaining 
portion of the county. A vacancy was declared to exist in the 
second district, which was filled by the appointment of P. Van- 
denberg. Wacoota precinct was established. It embraced the 
southeastern portion of the county and was separated from Red 
"Wing precinct by a line commencing at the mouth of Potter's 
creek, thence along that creek to its head, and thence on a line 
due south to the county line. J. 0. Weatherby was appointed 
justice of the peace for Red Wing, and W. R. Culbertson and 
Joseph Middaugh were named as constables in the Red Wing 
precinct. The clerk of the court and the register of deeds were 
directed to procure a case for each of their offices suitable for 
filing papers. The register of deeds was also directed to procure 
blank books for the use of the county, one for his own office 
and one for the clerk of the court. Provisions were made to 
secure permanent offices for the use of the county officials. In 
the months of May and June P. Sandford erected a small frame 
building next west of his residence on Main street in the preseiit 
city of Red Wing, for a laAv office, this being the first law office 
erected in the city. This building was used by Mr. Sandford 
himself, as clerk of the court, and by the register of deeds, the 
treasurer when he had official business to transact, and by the 
board of county commissioners when they held their meetings. 
The sheriff and the treasurer for the most part "carried their 
offices in their hats." This pioneer lawyer's office was also used 
as a court house for the first term of court held in the county 
in 1854. It was also occupied by the United Stales hind office 
in the spring of 1855, and until more commodious quarters could 
be secured. It was in this building that the first government 
sale of lands was made in the county. 

The next meeting of the board of county commissioners was 
held on the second day of April, Avhen Florence precincl was 
established, bounded as follows: "Commencing at the mouth 
of Wells creek, on Lake Pepin, and running up that creek to the 
main bluff: thence south to the county line; thence along the 


county line to Lake Pepin ; thence up the lake to the place of 
beginning." John Keller was appointed justice of the peace, 
and Samuel Corey, R. S. Phillips and Hamilton Gudley were 
named as judges of election. Vermillion precinct was also estab- 
lished: "Commencing where the line between sections 12 and 
13 strikes the Mississippi river, and running theme west until 
it strikes the Dakota county line; thence along said line to the 
river, thence down the river to the place of beginning." Eli 
Preble. Silas Harper and J. R. Niles were appointed to be judges 
of elections. The clerk of the district court was allowed $12 
per quarter for furnishing his own other. 

The establishment of schools districts was next considered. 
District No. 1 included that portion of the county between the 
valley of Hay creek and Potter's creek, bordering on the Mis- 
sissippi river and extending back from the same six miles. 
Districl No. 2 included that portion of the county within the 
following bounds: Commencing at the mouth of Potter's creek 
on the Mississippi river; thence down the river and Lake Pepin 
to Point No-Point; i hence due south to Wells' creek; 1 hence 
up the valley of the same to the mouth of Rock creek; thence 
west to the precinct line; thence along said line to the place of 
beginning. District No. 3 included thai portion of the county 
within the following bounds: Commencing at the Cannon river 
bridge; thence due south three miles: thence east to Hay creek 
valley; thence down said valley to the Mississippi; thence up 
the Mississippi to the mouth of the Cannon river; thence up 
the Cannon river to the place of beginning. It was also resolved 
that the clerk of the hoard be instructed to obtain the opinion 
of Rice. Hollingshead and Becker, of St. Paul, in relation to the 
legality of the jurisdiction of Goodhue county over Wabasha 
county, particularly in regard to taxes. The hoard then 
adjourned until May 12. 

A special session was held April 14. with R. Spates and P. 
S. Fish in attendance, but these two seemed to have managed to 
transact as much business as a much larger board would be 
expected to. 

At this session school district No. 4 was established, as fol- 
lows: ■•Commencing on the west between Sillman Harrison's 
and John Kelley's; thence southwest to the Sugar Loaf, includ- 
ing the valley south and west of the Sugar Loaf; thence west 
to Lake Pepin; thence up the lake to the place of beginning. 
R. L. Phillips was appointed a justice of the peace, and Abner 
Dwelly a judge of election in Florence precinct. 

May 12 R. Spates and A. W. Post were present. The first 
road petition of which any record is found was considered at 
this session, and L. Bates and Charles Spates were appointed 


viewers or examiners. The petition was presented by Hans 
Mattson and others. School district No. 5 was established, with 
the following boundaries: Beginning at Poplar Grove on the 
Cannon Palls road, about ten miles from Rod Wing, and running 
southwest to the south fork of the Cannon, so as to include the 
claim of Ross and Champe; thence down the south fork to its 
mouth, thence down the Cannon river two miles; thence in a 
southeasterly direction to the place of beginning. 

A special session was called June 9, with the full board in 
attendance. A petition signed by E. Westervelt and others was 
presented, asking for the erection of a new eleetion precinct, 
which after some consideration was dismissed. The residents of 
Westervell also presented ;i petition asking for a new- school 
district. This was granted and the district established as school 
district Xo. 6. Its boundaries were given as follows: Commenc- 
ing at a point on Lake Pepin above Westervelt 's, running in a 
southwesterly direction to the divide of t he creek near Maham- 
mon Drum's claim: thence in a southeasterly direction along 
the range of bluffs to tin' district below; thence east to the lake; 
and thence up the river to the place of beginning. Two other 
districts were also established. Distriel Xo. 7 was outlined as 
follows: Commencing at the southwest corner of Ingram's claim 
on Wells' creek, thence north to the top and center of the bluff 
dividing the valley of Wells' creek from the military road valley; 
thence to the head of Rock creek ; thence embracing the Rock 
creek settlement to Wells' creek and the AVells' creek settlement 
to the place of beginning. A study of these boundaries will show 
that a part of this district was taken from the original No. 2. 
District No. 8, as established, had the following boundaries : 
Commencing in the middle of section 10, township 113, range 
15 west, and running south to the district line of district No. 5 ; 
thence along said line west three miles ; thence north to the north- 
west side of Brownson's claim; thence east to the place of 
beginning. This district was taken in part from district No. 3. 

At the session of the board held June 25 Cannon Falls 
precinct was established. In the language of the resolution 
passed it "comprised the whole of township No. 112, range 17 
west, and so much of township No. 112, range 18 west, as lies 
within the county of Goodhue, being formed out of a portion of 
Red Wing precinct. The voting place was established at Du- 
rand's hotel. The board then agreed to raise a tax of one per 
cent on the total valuation of property, for territorial, school and 
county purposes, for the year 1855. The total valuation of tax- 
able property was $144,521 ; the wdiole amount to be raised being 
$1,455.21. The increase of taxable property in one year v<as 


$79,216. The increase in expenses, including territorial and 
school tax, was $901.12. 

The full board was present at the special session held August 
4. A petition was presented from the citizens of the Florence 
precinct, asking that the boundaries of that precinct be changed. 
After some discussion this matter was laid on the table, and at 
a subsequent meeting dismissed. A new precinct, called Sackton, 
was established, including three townships — No. 109 in ranges 
15, 16 and 17 west. Abram Pierce was appointed justice of the 
peace ; Simon Sackett, constable ; and Joseph P. Rutherford, 
James Haggard and Robert T. Freeman were named as judges 
of elections. The resignations of J. Middaugh, constable, and 
F. D. Clark, justice of the peace, Red Wing, were received and 
accepted. The clerk of the board was directed to obtain, if 
possible, printed blanks for county orders and poll books. Pre- 
vious to this time printed blanks were not used, and all forms 
were written out with the pen. The county surveyor was 
directed to procure a proper book and to copy into the same 
the field notes of the United States survey of the county. 

At the September meeting the precinct of Dunkirk was estab- 
lished, embracing townsbips No. 110 in ranges 17 and 18 west, 
and township No. 119, range 18 west. There was also established 
the precinct of Belle Creek, embracing townships 111 in ranges 
15 and 16 west, and township No. 112, range 16 west. Anders 
Knutson, Ole Oleson and Gunder Oleson were appointed to be 
judges of election in Dunkirk precinct, and the election was 
ordered to be held at the home of Anders Knutson. Walter 
Doyle, Hans Mattson and S. P. Chandler were appointed judges 
of election in Belle Creek, and the election was ordered to be 
held at the house of Walter Doyle. Townships No. Ill, in ranges 
17 and 18, were added to Cannon Falls precinct, and townships 
110 in ranges 15 and 16 to Sackton precinct. The consideration 
of road petitions, appointment of viewers and the perfecting of 
arrangements for the October election, together with the exam- 
ination of sundry accounts, occupied the remainder of the 

A session of one day was held October 1, being devoted 
mainly to the examination and allowance of accounts. The 
Spring Creek Valley and White Rock road was declared to be 
established and the clerk was directed to notify the supervisors 
of the same. The Wacoota and Wells' Creek, and the Wells y 
Creek and Florence roads were also declared to be established, 
and a like order directed to be issued to the supervisors of the 
several districts through which the roads were located. The last 
session of the year was held December 5, when school district 
No. 9 was established with boundaries as follows: Commencing 


at the southwest corner of section 31, township 109, range 15 
east ; thence east three miles ; thence north two and a half miles ; 
thence west three miles; thence south two and a half miles to 
the place of beginning. It appears that the people did not vote 
in favor of raising money for county buildings, and nothing 
further was done by the board of commissioners toward that 
object until 1857, except to discuss the matter. 

The first session of the board in 1856 was held January 7. 
The time of that and the immediate subsequent session was 
devoted to roads, auditing accounts, revising and re-establishing 
the assessors' districts and doing like business. At a session 
commencing April 8, 1856, the following named citizens were 
appointed judges of elections: Red Wing— Seth Washburn, R. 
C. Todd, T. J. Smith; Wacoota— H. F. Simmons, George Post, 
Abner W. Post; Belle Creek— Hans Mattson, Walter Doyle, S. 
P. Chandler; Florence — Samuel Corey, Henry Phillips, J. L. 
Dixon; Sackton — Simon Sackett, D. F. Stevens, P. G. Wilson; 
Cannon Falls — Andrus Durand, E. N. Sumner, Alonzo Dibble; 
Dunkirk— Ole Oleson, Samuel Knutson, Guncler Oleson. School 
districts numbered 10, 11. 12, 13 and 14 were established, the 
rapid influx of immigration making the re-establishment of the 
districts necessary. The total valuation returned by the assessors 
was $630,227. Previous to this taxes had been laid on personal 
property alone. This year real estate became also taxable. The 
business transacted this year was practically the same as that 
of the previous year, and a detailed description would prove 
too lengthy for the confines of this history. Those interested 
in any particular detail can find the minutes of these early 
meetings still on record among the county archives. In the 
year 1857 action was taken in earnest to provide county build- 
ings. The county board consisted of S. P. Chandler, S. J. Hasler 
and A. W. Post. S. J. Hasler was elected chairman. At a meet- 
ing held April 10 the following action was taken : Whereas, It 
is the duty of the board of county commissioners to provide for 
the erecting and repairing of court houses, jails, and other neces- 
sary public buildings for the use of the county; and whereas, 
this county has no court house or jail; Resolved, That this board 
provide for the erection of suitable buildings for the use of the 

Several resolutions followed in regard to the issue of bonds, 
their negotiation, etc. Then they resolved to receive plans and 
specifications for a court house, to be furnished on or before 
the first of May, at the register of deeds' office, and directed the 
clerk to have these resolutions printed three successive weeks 
in the "Red Wing Gazette." It was the opinion of this board 
that the court house block was too far from the river, and they 


resolved that the block now occupied by the Episcopal church 
should be the site of the county buildings, provided a good title 
could be obtained. But nothing came of the above resolves of 
the commissioners, probably on account of the great stringency 
in money matters which prevailed throughout the country that 

The next reference to the building of the court house found 
in the minutes of the board is under date of February 2, 1858, 
when, upon motion of petition of T. J. Smith, it was voted to 
erect county buildings according to plans and specifications pre- 
sented by the Messrs. Chaffee, provided that sufficient county 
bonds could be negotiated at a sum not less than ninety cents on 
the dollar, the cost of said building not to exceed $30,000. S. 
P. Chandler and S. J. Hasler voted in favor of this, and M. S. 
Chandler voted in the negative. It will be remembered that at 
that time Goodhue county bonds were worth from sixty to 
seventy-five cents on the dollar. On the third Monday in May 
the bids were opened and the contract awarded to Messrs. Sim- 
mons, Hill and Stevens, at $24,000, that being the lowest and 
best offer and included the entire completion of the building. 
Monday. May 17. the board voted to notify the contractors that 
the court house and jail were to be erected on the block known 
and designated as "court house block" square, in the city of 
Red "Wing. Tuesday. June 8, the board voted to accept the 
sureties given by Daniel C. Hill and others for the completion 
of the contract for building the court house and jail, and ordered 
that bonds be placed on file in the county clerk's office. It was 
also voted, to quote the minutes, "that the contract entered into 
by the county commissioners of said county of Goodhue county, 
Minn., parties of the first part, and Daniel C. Hill and others, 
parties of the second part, to build the county buildings, and to 
receive in pay therefor the bonds of the said county of Goodhue, 
Minn., to the amount of twenty-six thousand, six hundred and 
sixty-six dollars ($26,666.00) be placed on file." Old settlers 
interviewed are unable to account for this difference in $2,666 
above the original contract price, but it may have been due to 
the fact that the pay was to be accepted in bonds which were not 
at par value. 

Jesse M. Hodgman, deceased, for several years mayor of Red 
AVing. and one of the early merchants of the city, was born in 
Hartland, Windsor county, Vermont, February 17, 1818. As a 
boy he received his education in the district schools of his native 
county, in a seminary at Meriden, N. H., and in a state military 
school at Norwich, Vt., remaining on the farm until 1854. In 
the fall of that year he arrived in Red Wing for the first time. 
Although there was little here at that time to indicate the future 

.A J/, 


h^ ^a^ 

km : 



prosperity of the city, he became fired with the enthusiasm of 
the other pioneers of those days, and returning east, he settled 
up his business affairs there, again coming to Red Wing in the 
spring of 1856. Here he remained from that date until the time 
of his death, with the exception of some trips he made for 
the benefit of Ins health. lie first became engaged in the mer- 
cantile business, which he continued for some time, working also 
in the store of Mclntire & Sheldon. In 1860 he became a partner 
with T. 1-5. Sheldon in the forwarding and commission business, 
in which he remained until IstiT. when failing health necessi- 
tated his partial retirement. He became a director in the First 
National bank and continued in this capacity until 1880. In 
1887. with B. B. Herbert and others, he started the Red Wing 
Building Association, of which he was secretary. First elected 
mayor of Red Wing in 1868, he was several times re-elected, and 
filled flic position with dignity and ability. Aside from his 
other interests he was a stockholder in the local potteries. In 
1880 lie went to California in search of health, and three years 
later returned someAvhat benefited. His death, April 11, 1887, 
at his home in Red Wing, was the occasion of the following 
obituary notice, which expresses the feelings of those with whom 
he w^as associated: "Until compelled by failing health to retire, 
he was actively employed in some department of practical busi- 
ness in which the prosperity of tin 1 city was more or less directly 
identified. Never a strong man, he had the time and the energy 
and the pluck to devote to the public as w T ell as to his private 
interests, when that public — as on more than one occasion it 
did — demanded his services. As mayor of the city for successive 
terms, and in the discharge of other public trusts, his labors are 
remembered with gratitude. They were uniformly in the direc- 
tion of public interests, intelligently understood and appreciated, 
and from that line of action nothing could swerve him. In 
public, as in private, those who knew him best esteemed him 
best. In the family and home circle he was ever the kind, con- 
siderate husband, father and friend, thoughtful for others to the 
last. A true and noble and manly man has gone from among us. 
The world is better for such as he." Mr. Hodgman was married 
May 13, 1862, at Red Wing, to Harriet Kellogg, one of the first 
music teachers of Red Wing, a musician of much ability and a 
graduate of the Young Ladies' Seminary of Music, at Coopers- 
town, N. Y. She was the daughter of Joseph and Harriet 
(Kingsley), Kellogg, natives of New York state. Her father, a 
harness maker by trade, died in his native state in 1850, and his 
widow came to St. Paul with her family in 1853. In 1856 they 
came to Red Wing, where she died in May. 1S65. To Mr. and 
Mrs. Hodgman was born one son, Leonard W.. July 13. 1863, at 


Red Wing. He married Ellen Graves, of St. Paul. November 7, 
1908. For many years he has been treasurer of the State Asso- 
ciation for the Deaf. 

James Cox, a pioneer resident of this county, now many years 
deceased, is a native of Long Island, born April 30, 1812, son of 
Oliver and Zipporah Cox, natives of New England, who crossed 
the sound and settled on one of the productive Long Island farms 
in the early days. Here James was reared, living the life of 
the other boys of his period, and receiving such education as the 
schools of his neighborhood afforded. He went to Ohio as a 
young man. and engaged in the mercantile business, until failing 
health made it advisable for him to seek employment which 
would allow him to be out-of-doors more. At Burlington, Iowa, 
he conducted a real estate office, and here his health so greatly 
improved that he was enabled to open a hardware establishment 
in St. Paul. During the year 1856, when the wonderful possi- 
bilities of Goodhue county, then recently opened to settlement, 
were being discussed on every street corner in St. Paul, he be- 
came enthused with the prospects, and coming to Lean township, 
secured a farm and carried on agricultural operations for ten 
years. In 1865 he located in Red Wing, remaining until his 
death, January 6. 1888. He was a man of acute business judg- 
ment and staunch New England integrity, handicapped how- 
ever, through life, by a lack of robust health. The family still 
resides in the house lie occupied when first locating in Red Wing. 
This building is one of the earlier residences of the city, and 
within its Avails much of the early court business of the county 
was transacted. The old farm-house at Leon, with its surround- 
ing acres, also remains in the possession of the family even to 
the present day. Mt. Cox was married in 1842, at Piqua, Miami 
county. Ohio, to Anna E. Caldwell, daughter of Matthew and 
Harriet V. (Kemper) Caldwell, natives of Kanawha, W. Va., at 
that time a part of Virginia. The father was a large land owner 
and possessed the acres upon which the flourishing city of Piqua, 
Ohio, is now located. To Mr. and Mrs. Cox were born six chil- 
dren : Edwin was born at Piqua, served as corporal in Company 
F. First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and was killed in the 
battle of Antietam; Oliver C. deceased; Alice C, born at Piqua, 
is also deceased; Eleanor Z., also born at Piqua, married Fred- 
erick ('. Boynton, head miller of the Cataract mills, and fourth 
owner of the Goodhue mills at Cannon Falls. Mr. and Mrs. 
Boynton have three children: Gertrude, now Mrs. G. C. Ansley, 
and has one child. Jeanette : James C, married Myrle Morowitz; 
Bessie is deceased. Harriet, the fourth child of Mr. and Mrs. 
Cox, was born at Burlington, Iowa, married H. T. Eames, lives 
at Fergus Falls. Minn., and has three children. Maude E. and 


James Cox 


AST a a 




— ^ 


Ray T.j living, and Jessie, deceased. Anna Belle, the fifth child 
of Mr. and Mrs. Cox, was born at St. Paul, May 14, 1856, mar- 
ried W. H. Brink, a St. Paul contractor, and has ♦four children: 
Harry LeRoy married Mabel Wallace and has two children, Dor- 
othy E. and Barbara. Nellie C. married Louis Nienaber, of St. 
Paul. Charlotte M. married George K. Fargo, of Oregon, by 
whom she has one child, Stevens. Drake is the youngest son. 
Nina F.. born in Red Wing, youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. Cox, 
resides at home. The family faith is that of the Methodist 
Kpiseopal church. 



An Experiment in County Government — Members of First Board 
of Supervisors — Two Chairmen — Party Feeling High — 
Sheriff Preserves Order — Another Version — Court House 
Trouble — Meeting of Second Board — Resumption of County 
Commissioner System — History of Court House — County 
Poor Farm — Political History. 

In 1858 began an era which in this state continued but a 
short time, that of county govern m ent by a board of supervisors 
consisting of the chairmen of the different townships. This 
change came near discontinuing the work of the contractors on 
the new county buildings for a time. The new law was passed 
by the legislature on March 20, to go into effect July 12. The 
county was thus divided into twenty-one townships, an account 
of which will be found elsewhere. The board of supervisors, 
which held its first meeting on the second Monday in July, 1858, 
consisted of the following members : Belle Creek, S. P. Chandler; 
York (now Belvidere), Cyrus Crouch; Zumbrota, Isaac C. 
Stearns; Union (now Burnside), "W. S. Grow; Featherstone, 
"William Freyberger ; Red Wing, A. B. Miller and P. Vandenberg, 
Orrin Densmore ; Wanamingo, J. G. Brown; Pine Island, C. R. 
White; Holden, Knut Knutson ; Roscoe, Oliver "Webb; Central 
Point. Robert L. Phillips; "Warsaw, N. L. Townsend; Stanton, 
John Thomas ; Hay Creek, S. A. Wise ; Wacoota, Leonard Gould ; 
Cannon Falls, C. W. Gillett; Kenyon, Addison Hilton; Cherry 
Grove, D. M. Haggard (vice Woodward, resigned) ; Florence, 
Dr. J. Kelly; Vasa, Charles Himmelman ; Leon, E. Stone. Of 
the opening session of this board two accounts are given. An 
historian of the late seventies relates the incidents as follows: 
"In those days the Democratic party held the balance of power 
in Goodhue county. The Republican party was just beginning 
to assume strength and power. In the selecting of a presiding 
officer for the board,. both parties sought to gain advantage and 
secure the chairmanship. S. P. Chandler was the Democratic 
candidate for chairman, and I. C. Stearns was the Republican 



•candidate. There was a tie vote, both men claimed the right to 
the chair and both assumed to preside. One of them sat upon 
one side of the table and the other one sat upon the other side. 
When a motion was submitted — and any number of motions were 
made — both men w r ould 'put the question.' Party feeling ran 
high, and extended outside of the hall in which the board held 
its sessions. A fight was expected and 'Deacon' DeKay, w T ho was 
deputy sheriff at the time, was directed by his superior officer 
to 'take up a position' in the supervisors' room and preserve 
order at all hazards, even if it took the last man and the last 
dollar in the baliwick. He obeyed orders, and for two or three 
days maintained a position between the two chairmen ; but the 
fight didn 't ' come off. ' The troubled waters were finally quieted 
by the giving way of J. G. Brown, of Wanamingo, who came 
over to the support of Mr. Chandler, making a rousing speech 
in explanation of his action. A record of those turbulous days, 
w r ith the motions, explanations, etc., covers several pages of the 
journal and makes rather humorous reading." 

Of these same days, another writer, who was present at this 
meeting says: "The facts, briefly, are these: At the first meet- 
ing of the county board in July, referred to, S. P. Chandler was 
chosen chairman and acted as such, without any sign of opposi- 
tion from any one. The annual meeting of the board was fixed 
by law on the second Monday in September, and the board 
adjourned to meet at that time. The board so met, and it was 
the understanding of the entire board that at this annual meeting 
a new r election of officers should take place. Accordingly the 
board proceeded to the election of a chairman, and I. C. Stearns 
was elected by nearly, if not quite, a two-thirds majority. He 
took the chair without any opposition, and a large amount of 
business was transacted at that forenoon session. During the 
adjournment of two hours for the afternoon session the matter 
was taken up in town, and it was the opinion of the lawyers 
that the new election of officers was illegal, and that the officers 
elected at the first meeting held over for the ensuing year. S. 
P. Chandler was advised by them to again assume the chair and 
claim his right as chairman. So at the commencement of the 
afternoon session both officers called the meeting to order simul- 
taneously and both put motions as they were made and seconded. 
This, however, continued but a short time, for as the voice of 
the new chairman was stronger and the board paid attention 
to him rather than to the other, the old chairman subsided, and 
said he appointed the other to act for him until the matter was 
settled. The board then proceeded to discuss the question at 
length. The house w T as crowded with the talent of Red Wing 
and the excitement was at a high pitch; for it was understood 


that the validity of the bonds issued for the building of the 
court house would be affected by this decision, as the chairman 
of the board must sign the bonds. Hon. AY. AY. Phelps was 
invited to address the board on the subject, and he made a 
lengthy argument in favor of the continuance of the old officers. 
This discussion occupied nearly the entire afternoon. It was 
finally decided by the board that the old officers held over, and 
Mr. Chandler was allowed quietly to resume his seat as 

The first meeting of this board was held in the office of the 
register of deeds, but almost equal in number to the territorial 
legislature, the room was found to be too small, and a committee 
consisting of Messrs. Crouch. Stearns and Brown was appointed 
to secure a suitable room, which was found and obtained in Todd 
and Hasler's block on Main street, the hall being then designated 
as "Hasler's Hall." When the board was full organized, cre- 
dentials examined and passed upon, etc., the following commit- 
tees were appointed: Equalization, C. R. White, 0. Densmore, 
I. C. Stearns. R. S. Phillips. C. AY. Gillett; claims. AY. S. Grow, 
J. G. Brown. S. A. Wise; ways and means, A. B. Miller, C. R. 
White. L. N. Gould; roads and bridges, 0. Webb, J. Kelley, 
('. Crouch: appropriations, P. A r andenberg, I. C. Stearns, C. W. 
Gillett; justices and constables, R. L. Phillips. C. R. White, 
AY. S. Grow : sheriff and jailer, I. C. Stearns, C. AY. Gillett, John 
Thomas; to settle with treasurer, E. Stone, P. Vandenberg, R. L. 
Phillips; printing, A. B. Miller, P. A r anderbergh, 0. Densmore; 
Poor, Robert L. Phillips, Knut Knutson, D. M. Haggard; per 
diem and mileage, J. Thomas, A. Hilton, N. D. Townsend; public 
buildings, 0. Densmore, I. C. Stearns. AY. S. Grow, C. AY. Gillett, 
R. L. Phillips. This committee was elected by the board by 
acclamation. James T. Chamberlain, deputy register of deeds, 
was elected clerk of the board, and the supervisors proceeded to 

AYednesday morning, July 14, a resolution regarding the 
court house was offered by A. B. Miller, and after some discussion 
the following was adopted: "Whereas, There exists a diversity 
of opinion in reference to the binding force upon Goodhue county, 
of a certain contract entered into by the county commissioners 
of Goodhue county, with certain other parties for the erection 
of courthouse and jail, and Whereas, Any action pending the 
uncertainty which now exists would be very imprudent and 
hazardous; therefore, Resolved, That this board by a committee 
of three of its members, to be elected by the board, proceed at 
once to ascertain our liability under said contract, by presenting 
the case, without delay, to the judge of the Fifth Judicial Dis- 
trict of this state for his decision upon the validity of said con- 


tract, or to obtain the besl possible legal advice on the matter. 
The resolution was especially considered at a meeting held at 
2 o'clock that afternoon. 

A communication having been received from the senator and 
representatives in the state legislature in regard to the passage 
of a hill, authorizing the hoard of supervisors to issue bonds for 
the erection of county buildings, Mr. Grow offered the following 
resolution: Kesolved. By the Hoard of Supervisors of Goodhue 
county, that onr senator and our representatives he requested to 
secure the passage of a hill introduced by Senator Hudson, 
July 0, 1858, entitled •"An ad to authorize the board of super- 
visors of Goodhue county to issue county bonds for the erection 
of county buildings." This was passed with an amendment to 
the effect that in making this request the board expressed no 
opinion as to the issuing of the bonds or the erecting of the 
buildings. It might here be explained that there was some oppo- 
sition to the erection of these buildings, but the outlying town- 
ships, who believed that the new buildings would give Red Wing 
an undue advantage over the other villages. Orrin Densmore 
and J. ('. Stearns were appointed on the committee to secure 
legal opinion, and a statement was secured from Judge D. Cooper, 
of St. Paul, in which he declared that in his opinion, the contract 
made by the previous board of county officers was binding upon 
the county. Efforts were then made to persuade the Messrs. 
Hill, Simmons & Co. to relinquish their contract. This they 
refused to do, saying that they had sub-let much of the work, had 
ordered materials, and been to other expense. They offered, how- 
ever, to accept for consideration a written proposition of the 
terms of a compromise. 

In the meantime, on July 15, the board found that a still more 
commodious room was necessary, and Harmony Hall, at the 
corner of Main and Fulton streets, was secured. This hall the 
hoard occupied July 16, and at subsequent meetings. In after 
years this building was destroyed by fire. Efforts at a compro- 
mise with the contractors failed, and it "was finally voted to 
assume the obligation laid on the county by the previous board, 
and proceed with the work on the courthouse. In passing this 
vote, the supervisors strongly censured the previous board for so 
heavily loading the county in debt, and expressed its regret that 
the county should be bound by such an act, and the same time 
declaring that there. seemed no way in which the present super- 
visors could legally cancel the contract of the previous county 

The second county board of supervisors was elected in April. 
1859, and met in the office of the county auditor, April 18, of that 
year. J.' A. Thacher, of Zumbrota. was elected chairman of the 


board. April 21. it was voted that the committee on public 
buildings accept in behalf of the county, the courthouse when 
completely finished according to contract, and that when so 
finished the county officers who were to occupy it were instructed 
to move into it. 

The courthouse was completed and turned over by the con- 
tractors in August. 1859. The excavation, the stone work and 
the carpenter work was done by Hill. Simmons & Co., the con- 
tractors. The brick was made by John Carter, and laid in the 
wall by Messrs. Brink. Todd & Co. The plastering work was 
done by the same firm. Some of the bonds issued to pay for the 
erection of the courthouse were sold to individuals in Washing- 
ton, D. C, some to people in New York and Ohio, and a larger 
part were taken by Red "Wing parties. They were sold at various 
prices, ranging from fifty to ninety cents on the dollar. They 
were all taken up later, and the expense of the courthouse, 
improvement and enclosure of the square were all paid for within 
about two decades of the time the bills were contracted. 

Pending the efforts of the board of supervisors to secure 
a cancellation of the contract for the erection of the courthouse, 
and before the bonds were issued, the contractors had been 
advised that the bonds could be sold in the New York market for 
nearly their face value. An agent was sent on there to investi- 
gate the matter, but before negotiations were perfected a cir- 
cumstance occurred which completely destroyed the value of 
Minnesota county bonds in thai market. Hennepin county had 
issued bonds and built a courthouse. When the bonds became 
due they were not paid, a fact that threw discredit upon all 
county bonds, and rendered them worthless among commercial 
men and capitalists. The taxpayers outside of Red Wing and its 
immediate vicinity were fighting the court house enterprise, and 
using. every possible means to induce the contractors to throw up 
the contract, even offering them as much as $10,000 cash to do so. 
The business men and friends of Red Wing were as anxious the 
other way. and when, they found the bonds could not be sold for 
ready money, they promised to render all necessary material 
assistance to the contractors — to take the bonds, advance the 
money, etc. When the money was needed, however, it was not 
forthcoming. When any of them did advance money to aid the 
contractors, they required a deposit of two dollars in bonds for 
one dollar in money advanced, and three per cent a month in 
money besides. At least this was the statement made by Mr. 
Hill many years after these events transpired. Sometimes bonds 
could be traded for lumber and other building materials, but only 
at heavy discounts. Through the influence of Mr. Phelps, the 
member of Congress from Minnesota, and Mr. Gebhort-. member 


of Congress from Ohio, some of the bonds were sold for seventy 
cents cash, both of these men, themselves, taking small amounts. 
Red Wing men, when the pinch came, were for the most part 
very reluct ant to invest their money in these bonds; and when 
they did so, asked very large discounts. 

The building of the courthouse was undertaken at the instance 
■of Red Wing interests. The taxpayers in the interior were 
opposed to the enterprise, hoping in time to secure a division of 
the county, or the location of the public buildings at a more cen- 
tral point. AY lien the board of supervisors succeeded the county 
commissioners, the county townships had a larger representa- 
tion, and acting in accordance with the will of their constituents, 
they sought to avoid for the county the responsibility of the con- 
tract made by their prede< essors in office. As already mentioned, 
however, the legal advice satisfied the board that the contract 
was legal and binding, and rather than risk involving the county 
in heavy damages, the contract was allowed to proceed, and the 
courthouse was completed within the time specified in the agree- 
ment. For countless decades the building will remain as a monu- 
ment to those early commissioners, who had the broadness of 
mind and strength of purpose to look ahead, and to plan for what 
the county was to become, regardless of the opposition and petty 
jealousies which surrounded them in their day and generation. 

During the time the courthouse was building a feeling of dis- 
satisfaction with the township system became general throughout 
the state, and in 1860 an act was passed by the legislature pro- 
viding that each and every county should have a board of county 
commissioners, and that in those counties in which at the last gen- 
eral election there were cast eight hundred votes or over, the said 
board should consist of five members, and in all other counties 
of three members, who should hold their offices for one year, or 
until their successors were elected and cpialifiecl. This law went 
into effect April 1, 1860. The last board of supervisors adjourned 
January 10, 1860, and the first board session of the board of com- 
missioners commenced June 4, following. The board was com- 
posed of J. A. Thacher, H. L. Bevans, J. A. Jackson, A. Hilton 
and E. A. Sergeant. Mr. Thatcher was chosen chairman of the 

Before completing the mention of the courthouse, it might be 
well to state that, with some alterations, the same building is 
still doing good service. Another building, upon the same block, 
was erected in 1887 for a sheriff's residence and a jail. In 1861 
a large farm was purchased by the county commissioners at a 
cost of $3,000, for the purpose of providing a home for the poor. 
Necessary buildings were erected thereon at a cost of $5,737.18. 
These buildings were completed and ready for occupancy in 1867. 


In October, 1889, the main building was accidentally destroyed 
by fire. The inmates, about thirty in number, all escaped injury, 
and temporary accommodations were provided for them until a 
new house was erected. The new building was completed during 
the following year at a cost of $20,000. It is situated on Spring 
creek, in the town of Burnside, and presents a very fine appear- 
ance. There is an artesian well on the premises, and the whole 
surroundings are such as to make it a pleasant home. The farm 
is under as good cultivation as any in the neighborhood. The 
whole is managed by an overseer, who is appointed by the board 
of commissioners. 

As has been noted earlier in this history, there was little cause 
for political rivalry in the earliest days. The first political move- 
ment having ;i tendency to shape the future complexion of the 
parties in Goodhue county was a meeting held October 8, 1856, 
on the corner of Main and Bush streets, Red Wing. Franklin 
Pierce, a Democrat, was then president of the United Slates. As 
a matter of course, all appointive officers of the territory were 
Democrats. Of the United States land office, which was located 
here, C. Graham was receiver and \V. W. Phelps register. The 
chief justice of the territory, W. II. Welch, also resided here. 
Henry C. Hoffman was postmaster; Nehemiah Bennett, editor of 
the "Sentinel," later the "Argus," was justice of the peace. The 
elective offices for the county were then filled with those who 
Mere adherents of the party dominant at that time. While no 
vote for president could be taken here, party interest ran high, 
and consequently, on October 8, 1856, a grand demonstra- 
tion rally took place. After a large pile of empty boxes, and 
other combustible materials, had been fired and allowed to burn 
for some time for the amusement of the boys and to gather a 
crowd, an organization was effected by the selection of Dr. F. F. 
Hoyt as chairman and N. V. Bennett as secretary. W. W. Phelps 
mounted a dry goods box directly in front of the Teepeetonka 
Hotel, and for an hour expounded the Democratic side of the 
compromise measures of 1850, and the Kansas and Nebraska bill 
of Stephen A. Douglas, commonly known as popular, or squatter, 
sovereignty. Mr. Graham followed in the same strain. The meet- 
ing closed after Mr. Graham's speech, but the people did not 
seem disposed to leave hastily. They gathered into small groups, 
discussing the matter for themselves. Many young men, and 
some older ones, had recently come into the territory, expecting 
to make their homes here. Among them was the Hon. Charles 
McClure, from Illinois, who had been an anti-slavery man for 
some years, and who had been acquainted with such men as 
Abraham Lincoln, Lyman Trumball, Owen Lovejoy, and others. 
Naturally, to men of the opinion of Mr. McClure, the Democratic 


meeting which had just been held was not exactly of the most 
agreeable nature. Consequently, there was a hurried conference 
among the Republican leaders, and they decided to hold a meet- 
ing then and there. Dr. Iloyt was found, and, as a matter of 
courtesy, was asked it" he had any objections to the Republicans 
speaking to the crowd. He replied that the Democrats were 
through, and il was immaterial to him how many other meetings 
held by those of different belief might follow. H. L. Bevans, 
John Going and Manville Comstock, who were recognized as a 
committee without having been appointed, called upon Mr. 
McClure, who had been sitting- at his office window listening to 
the Democratic speeches, and thus became filled to overflowing 
with Republican arguments with which to refute the sentiments 
which had been uttered. Before Mr. McClure had talked very 
long it was apparent that he was a bitter opponent of the doc- 
trine of state sovereignty, and he was not allowed to proceed 
very far. Some men and boys had secured a small wagon, and 
upon this had laid some sheets of iron in such a manner as to flap 
together when the wagon was moved. "With this w r agon in tow, 
and with fish-horns and cow-bells, the men and boys rushed about 
the streets, attempting to drown the voice of the speaker. At last 
C. C. Vandenberg, Louis Bennett and others, who appeared to 
have some influence with the noisemakers, were appealed to, and 
they soon restored order, after which Mr. McClure proceeded 
with his speech. The following spring Charles McClure was a 
candidate for delegate to the constitutional convention to form 
a slate constitution, and after a very hard contest, was elected by 
a majority of three over his opponent. Since that time the county 
has remained a Republican county, and has, as a rule, returned 
a Republican majority for state and national nominees, although 
there have been several exceptions. 

In September, 1857. party lines began to be drawn more dis- 
tinctly; the Red AVing "Republican," which appeared at that 
time with Lucius F. Hubbard as editor, taking the Republican 
view, while the Red Wing "Sentinel" was the organ of the 
Democratic party. In that year the first county conventions of 
the two parties were held. A full Republican ticket was elected. 
The political campaign in the fall of 1860 in this county was a 
very interesting one. as well before as after the nominating con- 
ventions. This was especially the case with the Republicans. 

Of this campaign, the Rev. J. W. Hancock writes as follows: 
"The main contest in the Republican convention was Tor the 
office of register of deeds, and the principal candidates for the 
office were Matthew Sorin and T. B. McCord. of Red Wing; 
Aaron G. Hundson, of Florence, and C. C. Webster, of Zumbrota. 
The convention was held at the courthouse October 11. I860. The 


feeling among the friends of the different candidates was at fever 
heat, and at one time during the convention a personal encounter 
took place. After several ballots had been taken, Mr. Webster 
was nominated, a result brought about by a combination of 
friends of the nominee and those of Hudson and McCord. Mr. 
Sorin and his friends were terribly chagrined at the result, and 
in order to give public expressions to their feelings, an "indigna- 
tion meeting" was arranged for, to be held at the courthouse a 
few evenings later, at which Mr. Sorin was to be the principal 
speaker. His well-known eloquence and ability as an orator could 
not but attract a crowd, and the courtroom was filled to its utmost 
capacity to see and hear what might take place. The speaker 
was at his best, and those in the audience, whether friend or foe, 
wen- richly entertained. He took up the case of one of his rivals 
for the nomination, who had ( it was alleged) sold out his delegates 
to Mr. "Webster, and who happened at that time to be a young 
man. In sarcastic language and manner he referred to him as a 
mere cipher in the community, and concluded by asking: 'Who 
is he? And what has he ever done for Goodhue county? He has 
not done as much as build a hen coop. A man without a home, 
without a wife, and, perhaps, even without a child.' Afterward 
he referred to another young man who had been somewhat con- 
spicuous in bringing aboul his defeat, as he expressed it. A 
young man called Captain Smithers, then a well-known resident 
of Red Wing, supposing himself to be the person alluded to, rose 
in his seat find asked: '.Mr. Sorin, do you mean me?' The 
speaker stopped, straightened himself to his full height, and look- 
ing steadily at the captain, till every eye in the room was turned 
upon him. and perfect silence prevailed, he answered: 'You. sir; 
no! I am on the descending grade, but haven't got down to you 
yet. ? Of course every one shouted at the reply, but it is doubtful 
if the answer was nearly as mortifying to the captain as was the 
fact that the speaker did not reach him during the remainder of 
the speech. It was admitted by all present that Mr. Sorin thor- 
oughly vindicated himself and discomfited his enemies on the 
occasion. He was afterward appointed postmaster at Red Wing 
by the incoming administration. Some other defeated candidates 
have not fared as well. This county has been fortunate enough 
to secure men of ability and honesty to conduct its affairs with 
prudence and economy, to whatever political party they may have 
been attached for the time being. 

Daniel C. Hill is one of the early settlers of Red Wing whose 
privilege it has been to live to see a flourishing city grow on a 
location where he found a primitive village. A fine type of the 
old pioneer, he has the honor and respect of the entire population 
of Red Wing. In company with the Messrs. Simmons and 


D. C. Hill 

_ , I 1 

pub-mo ' ' v 


Stephens, he was the contractor for the local county courthouse, 
still standing as a testimony to the fidelity with which the con- 
tractors labored. He also built the Presbyterian church, and 
many other edifices which were erected in the early days. Mr. 
Hill was born at Hudson, N. H., May 1, 1830, son of Ruben and 
Mary C. (Chase) Hill, both natives of the Granite state. He 
attended the district school of his neighborhood, assisted his 
parents on the farm, and learned the trade of carpentering. Pos- 
sessed of vigor and strength, he determined to build up his for- 
tunes in a newer country, where, he had been told, the opportu- 
nities for one of his trade were very great. As a preliminary to 
this venture, he worked in a piano-key factory in Winchester, 
Mass., from 1853 to 1856, and then came with his parents to Red 
Wing. Upon their arrival here both father and son took up car- 
penter work, the latter also owning a farm. In the building and 
carpenter business Ruben Hill continued, dying at Red Wing in 
May, 1886. His wife died the following June. Daniel, in 1859, 
started a sash, blind and planing factory, a business which 
at that time was one of the leading industries of Red Wing, 
and at which Mr. Hill made a most pronounced success. In 1882 
came a flattering offer to take the superintendency of a large fac- 
tory of a similar nature at Anoka, and this Mr. Hill accepted,, 
remaining in that place until 1898. He then bought a 110-acre 
farm in Red Wing township, which is now within the city limits, 
and upon this farm he still makes his home. Mr. Hill is a Repub- 
lican in politics and a prominent member of the Presbyterian 
?hurch. He has for many years been a member of the Odd 
Fellows. The respect in which he is held after over half a cen- 
tury's residence in this city is a tribute to his staunch character 
and unswerving honesty, as well as to his genial personality. 
Daniel C. Hill was married the first time in 1858 at Zumbrota, 
Minn., to Anna S. Hall, a native of Clairemont, N. H., to whom 
were born four children: Elmer F. is an architect in New York 
City; Mary married Prof. L. W. Chaney, who was professor at 
Carleton College for twenty-five years, and is now in the employ 
of the government ; Elizabeth is a school teacher at Seattle, 
Wash.; Arthur D. is a ranchman at Victor. Mont. Mrs. Anna 
Hill died at Red Wing in August, 1882, and Mr. Hill was married 
the second time at Zumbrota January 22, 1884. to Clara Sander- 
son, daughter of George and Abbey (Richardson) Sanderson, who 
settled in Zumbrota in the early days and farmed all their lives. 
The father died in January, 1902, and the mother is also deceased. 
To Mr. Hill and Mrs. Clara Hill has been born one son. G. Karl. 
February 20, 1888, who is still at home. 



Denton and Gavin — Aiton and Hancock — Bush, Bullard, Post, 
Snow and Gould — Potter, Young and Day — Sweney, Free- 
born and McGinnis — Friendliness of the Indians — First Win- 
ter — Arrival of the Scandinavians — Digging 1 Potatoes — Fish- 
ing in Stream and River — A Sporting Clergyman — Some of 
the Indian Braves — Farming in the Old Indian Cornfield — 
Squaws as Farmhands. 

The modern settlemenl of Goodhue county dates from LS37, 
when Samuel Denton and Daniel Gavin located in Red Wing's 
village and commenced their missionary efforts among the Sioux 

at t his point. 

In 1848, the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign 
Missions, more commonly known as the American board, 
appointed Revs. J. W. Hancock and John Aiton to continue the 
work started by Messrs. Denton and Gavin. Mv. Aiton came to 
what is now Red Wing in 1848, and moved into the mission houses 
previously erected. He and his wife at once set to work teaching 
the Indians, hut found the place so lonely that they spent a part 
of the winter at Kaposia, fifty miles to the north. Mr. Hancock 
arrived June 13, 1849. 

In the meantime, the exact date of which it is impossible to 
obtain, James Wells had settled at Frontenac and John Bush in 
Red Wing. At the time when Mr. Hancock came, Wells was liv- 
ing at Frontenae, in two unfinished stone buildings, with his wife, 
a half-breed daughter of Duncan Graham, the old-time trader. 
Grouped about these houses were the skin lodges of the Indians. 
John Bush was also married to a half-breed. He lived in Red 
Wing's village when Mr. Hancock first landed here, hut whether 
he antedated Aiton is not known. Mr. Aiton had some disagree- 
ment with Mr. Hancock on matters of method, and moved away 
in 1850. Bush went with the Indians in 1853. AYells moved 
away in 1854. and was killed by the Indians. Mr. Haneock 

In 1850, George Bullard settled at Wacoota, bringing his 



family and an Indian trader named Abner AY. Post. In the same 
year an Indian trader named Snow came to Red Wing. In 1851, 
Calvin Potter became associated with Snow in the trading post, 
and after the death of Snow continued the business until the 
removal of the Indians. At about this time, possibly earlier, 
( 'harles Gould settled near the mouth'of Wells creek. The arrival 
of Benjamin Young, a French half-breed, in Red Wing's village 
probably bears about the same date. In April, 1852, John Day 
came over from Diamond Bluff, Wis., and selected a claim in what 
is now the southeast corner of Section 25, Township 113, Range 15. 
He had considerable difficulty with the Indians, and also with 
Young. His cabin was repeatedly torn. down, but after the treaty 
he firmly established himself. Then came that sturdy old pioneer 
physician, Dr. AY. AY. Sweney, whose name will ever be revered in 
this county. With him the history of the county really begins. 

It will therefore be seen that previous to his coming the actual 
white settlers were as follows: Samuel Denton and wife, Red 
AYing, 1837 ; Daniel Gavin and wife. Red AYing, 1837 ; James Wells 
and half-breed wife, Prontenac, 1817 (?) ; Rev. John Aiton and 
wife, Red AYing. 1818; John Bush and half-breed wife, Red Wing, 
1848 ( ?) ; Rev. J. AY. Hancock and wife. Red AYing, 1849; George 
Bullard and family, AYacoota, 1850; Abner W. Post, Wacoota, 
1850; Snow. Red AYing, 1851 (?) ; Charles Gould and family, near 
mouth of AYells creek, 1851 (?) ; Calvin Potter, Red AYing, 1851; 
Benjamin Young ( half-breed), Red Wing, 1851 (?); John Day 
and family. Red AYing. 1852. Of his early experiences, Dr. Sweney 
once wrote : 

'In the spring of 1852. Calvin Potter, with whom I had pre- 
viously been acquainted, called at my office in St. Paul, and in the 
course of our conversation informed me that he has bought out 
Mr. Snow, the licensed Indian trader at Red Wing ; and in view of 
the treaty then in process of consummation, he thought that point 
a good location for a town site ; also, that he would like to interest 
someone with him in a claim he had there. AVilliam Freeborn, 
being one of the old residents of St. Paul, and having a large 
acquaintance, Mr. Potter thought he would be a desirable man. 
From my opinion of the country, acquired in various conversa- 
tions with an old French voyager, and also from an Englishman 
by birth — but in language and habits a compound of English, 
French and Indian — who had been in the country for thirty years. 
I was more than anxious to take part in the enterprise, and 
brought about a speedy meeting between Mr. Potter and Air. 

"In our council, Air. Freeborn demurred at first, urging his 
inability to remove to the new Eldorado immediately. I proposed 
to remove that objection by coming myself, to which he acceded. 


The result was that we three took the return boat, and landed in 
Red "Wing in the early part of May. "While there I purchased a 
claimright from a half-breed named Benjamin Young, of that part 
of the city known as 'Sweney's Addition;' also that old weather- 
beaten, two-story log house, Avell known to old settlers. 

Note. — This house stood where the old Sheldon elevator, owned 
by the La Grange mills, is now located. 

"This done, I returned to St. Paul, put my business in proper 
shape, and came back to Red AVing with James McGinnis, who 
concluded to try his fortune in this then unexplored country. We 
made our headquarters in the venerable tenement before men- 
tioned, and kept our own house, or, as some graphically describe 
it. "kept bach." This was in the latter part of May or beginning 
of June. 

"As it was not deemed advisable to go into farming or build- 
ing operations until the treaty was ratified, we had plenty of idle 
time (in our hands, and the grand difficulty was to know how to 
dispose of it. The families here then were the Rev. J. W. 
Hancock, of the Presbyterian mission, and John Bush, Indian 
farmer. John Day was not far off. however. The old 'Excel- 
sior' never made a trip up from below that John did not board 
her, to hear 'about the treaty.' There were several transient per- 
sons here, but their later whereabouts is not known. The only 
actual residents of the county, previous to my coming, besides 
those above mentioned, were George Bullard and family, at 
Wacoota ; .James Wells, who was later killed by the Indians in the 
southwestern part of the state, who then had a trading post at 
what is now the village of Frontenac. and I 'hnrles Gould and fam- 
ily, who resided near the mouth of Wells creek. This comprised 
the white population of the county. 

"Of the country back of us, even for four miles, I could learn 
nothing. Mr. Knauer, the engineer of the old military road up the 
river, said he has rode out to the source of Hay creek, and that it 
originated in a fine tamarack marsh. It occurred to McGinnis 
and myself that a good tamarack swamp, in a prairie country, 
would be a fine thing to possess, and. being like the caged starling, 
anxious to 'get out." we 'just went' for Hay creek, and to our 
intense disgust, didn't find any tamarack. In an after conversa- 
tion with Mr. Knauer. I am persuaded that, not following the 
creek valley all the way, he mistook the poplar grove, known in 
early times as 'Albert's grove,' for the swamp aforesaid. 

"After our little disappointment about the source of Hay 
creek, our trips were mainly confined to the river side of the 
county, between the divide of the waters of the Zumbro and the 
Mississippi — even Belle creek was not known — its locality and 
course, however, was traced for us by Hapah. the old chief's son- 


in-law. It was not deemed advisable to go far from the river, as 
many of the Indians were decidedly hostile to ceding their lands, 
and the Zumbro country was the common hunting ground for sev- 
eral bands of the M'dewakantonwan Dakotahs, besides being in 
the route of the traveling Indians from the upper Minnesota, to 
Wabasha, the residence of the acknowledged head chief of the 
seven bands. 

"Having become acquainted with the principal men among the 
Indians, I thought it safe to bring my family from St. Paul, which 
I did in July, 1852, as did also Mr. McGinnis. I have a very lively 
recollection of getting our household stock from the landing to 
our residence. A winding, rugged path up the bank was the 
course by which we conveyed it, and 'Mc' and I transformed our- 
selves into pack-mules, until stoves, bureaus, provisions, and vari- 
ous etceteras, of the two households were placed .under shelter, 
and we were at home. Within the next twenty-four hours, ninety- 
nine hundredths of the Indian population had called in through 
curiosity, and their various comments would doubtless have been 
edifying had we been able to understand them. Friendly rela- 
tions were established, however, and we never could complain of 
lack of company, so long as they remained in the village. I must 
also say in justice to the memory of those original settlers and 
occupants of the soil, that 1 was never more kindly treated by any 
people, nor did I ever enjoy myself better. To be sure, they were 
importunate beggars, as a community, and the women, as a rule, 
were chronic thieves. In fact they were kleptomaniacs, i. e., they 
could not help their stealing proclivities. But, making all allow- 
ances for these little peculiarities of their manners and morals, 
which were a part of their natures, they were not a bad people 
to live among. By a little liberality, when their begging seemed 
justifiable, and by firmly refusing when necessary, the beggars 
were disposed of and kept in good humor. And by watchfulness 
and the aid of bolts and bars, their thieving propensities were held 
in cheek and rendered measurably harmless. 

"The treaty being ratified by the senate of the United States, 
with some alterations from the original, as framed by the Dako- 
tahs and the commissioners, it became necessary to convene the 
different bands interested therein to get their consent. Notice 
was accordingly given to them to meet at Fort Snelling early in 
the fall, in consequence of which a perfect exodus of the aborigi- 
nes took place, and nothing more was seen of them here until late 
in November, after the close of navigation. When they did return 
a more squalid, wretched looking set I never saw. Bitter were 
the complaints against the government officials. Their annuities 
were spent in waiting at the fort, the best of the hunting season 
had passed, their canoes were frozen in the ice away from home, 


and would be mainly lost. I remember well when the first 
installment that came home — three families — pitched their tents 
in the evening near the mission house. They were worn out, cold 
and hungry. The children were emaciated, and sick from want 
and exposure. They were supplied by the whites with food until 
the men could obtain game for their sustenance. In the morning 
two of the men went out hunting, and as I came home in the 
evening, unsuccessful from a similar expedition on Hay creek, I 
struck their trail, and in a short time overtook them near what 
is now the corner of Main and Minnesota streets, each of them 
slowly toiling through the deep snow, under the burden of a deer. 
The men seemed exhausted, and requested me to stop at their 
tepees and tell the women where they were — that they had' got 
tado — and wanted them to come to their assistance. I hurried 
home to communicate this joyful intelligence to the inmates of 
the three lodges. Upon reaching them I told one of the women 
the good news. She immediately shouted forth a peculiar cry, 
which was echoed by all in the tent, down to a three-year-old 
boy dressed in purus naturalibis. This brought out the inhabi- 
tants of the other lodges. Upon being told the cause of the com- 
motion, the same shout went up from all present. Women and 
children acted as if demented. The women rushed about for 
straps, knives and blankets, and the children jumped up and 
down for joy. After giving them the proper directions where to 
go, three women started ou1 on a dog trot, and were soon lost to- 
view; Init some time after dark I called at the lodges and found 
them busily engaged in masticating large mouthfuls of venison. 
In three days those little, half-starved, copper-colored specimens 
of the genus homo had acquired a very perceptible rotundity, 
and were as sleek and frisky as a litter of young pups. The cry, 
or shout, mentioned I have heard frequently, and is made on the 
occasion of the intelligence of a successful hunt ; not always the 
same, different intonations indicating the kind of game killed, 
as deer, bear, elk, etc. 

"The additions to our population, besides those mentioned, 
were John Day and family. E. C. Stevens, David Pucket, Jack 
Sanders and Ben Hill, in the summer, and Charles Parks, in 
November. 1852. v 

'The proprietors of the town site had procured lumber late 
in the fall for the erection of a hotel early in the spring, and it 
was necessary to engage carpenters to prepare such of the 
material in winter as could be done within the shop. H. B. and 
Joseph Middaugh were obtained, and became residents of the 
town in December, 1852. About this time, also, the first of our 
Scandinavian population arrived here — Mathias Peterson, a 
Nonvegian by birth. Soon after came Nels Nelson, a SAvede. who 


for a Long time lived with me. These two men were the pioneers 
of that nationality in Goodhue county, where the descendants of 
that race have since occupied so important a place. Both of these 
men formerly resided in St. Paul. In the spring following, 
Albert, a Norwegian, an acquaintance of Mr. Peterson, settled 
here and made a claim at Poplar grove, or Albert's grove, in what 
is now Featherstone township. 

"The winter of 1852-53 was passed very pleasantly by our 
little isolated community. The natives soon left on their win- 
ter's hunt after their return from the treaty ratification at the 
fort, and Ave saw but little of them until some time in January; 
in fact we saw nobody but our own residents. Communication 
between us and the civilized world was only resumed when the 
post had rendered traveling safe on the Mississippi river. The 
mail was carried from Prairie du Chien, through Wisconsin, 
crossing the Chippew T a near the Menominee river, thence through 
a wooded wilderness to the very source of Rush river at Baker's 
station, thence to Stillwater and St. Paul. A trip from Prairie 
du Chien in the winter required nerve, endurance, and a willing- 
ness to perform any amount of manual labor that the emergency 
■of the case might require. We here got our mail from St. Paul, 
when we had a chance to send for it. When the ice was safe, 
trains arrived frequently from below, principally laden with pork 
and flour. Our isolation was from about the midde of November 
to some time in January. Such supplies as ran short were 
obtained of Mr. Potter, whose establishment contained those 
articles more especially demanded by the Indian trade, and from 
George W. Bullard. at Wacoota. whose situation at the head of 
the lake rendered it necessary for him to keep a more extensive 
assortment of goods, to supply the wants of the lumbering inter- 
ests; or if these stores were deficient in articles, then St. Paul was 
the last resort for the winter. 

"As it is impossible to relate all that I wish to say in chrono- 
logical order, I may as well give a few of the incidents connected 
with our county history, even though out of their proper era. 

"On the Wisconsin side of the river, previous to the settle- 
ment here, in 1852, the land was ceded, surveyed and opened to 
settlement. At Diamond Bluff lived John Day, Allen Wilson, 
Jack Payne and George Day. At the mouth of the Trim Belle, 
'Old Hawley' and Jake Meade. At Thing's Landing, now Tren- 
ton, lived Wilson Thing, E. C. Stevens and Dexter, all more or 
less engaged in getting out wood for the use of steamboats 

" 'Old Hawley' was rather a hard case. By his sale of whisky 
our community was frequently disturbed by the whooping and 
yelling of drunken Indians. About all the population of natives 
not engaged in the spree would flee to the houses of the whites 


for protection, and there remain until the 'Minne Wakan' gave 
out, and the legitimate results of a 'high old time' had overtaken 
the carousers. Nothing is known of Hawley's fate, but from a 
knowledge of his character I would infer that he is at some 'side 
station' or "switch-off' in that 'undiscovered country from whence 
no traveler returns. " 

"In justice to truth and history, I must say something of 
Wilson Thing, a very eccentric man. a strict vegetarian, a man 
of strong prejudices, but moral and upright — a good neighbor 
and an honest man. He was the only justice of the peace for 
many miles around, and eonsecpiently had a little legal business 
to perform. Previous to my coming here, as related by an old 
settler, a fair widow of this place had entered into a marriage 
contract with a gentleman of St. Paul, and the time was fixed for 
the consummation of the happy event. AVhen the time arrived, 
and the parties to the contract were present, a grand difficulty 
arose. Rev. Mr. Hancock, the only one authorized to solemnize 
marriages, was absent. The bridegroom was impatient and the 
bride annoyed. Friends suggested a canoe ride to Trenton and 
the services of 'Squire Thing' as the only solution of the evils 
complained of. Of course, under the circumstances, both bride 
and bridegroom eagerly acceded to the proposition, and in a 
short time the bridal party was under way for the residence of 
the justice. They found that worthy representative of the law, 
as enacted and promulgated by the great and sovereign state of 
Wisconsin, busily engaged in the rather feminine occupation of 
washing a two months' accumulation of soiled shirts, he being at 
that time a bachelor, and he was somewhat embarrassed at the 
sudden eruption into his sanctum. The bride, however, was 
plucky, and to relieve the justice, and to give him time to make 
himself presentable and con over the marriage ceremony, she 
proposed that herself and mother would finish the laundry opera- 
tions, while he got ready for his part of the proceedings. This 
proposition was accepted, and in clue time both the shirt washing 
and the marriage ceremony were completed, to the satisfaction 
of all concerned. 

"As winter approached it became necessary for us to look 
about for a supply of vegetables for winter use, as there w T ere 
none to be had on this side of the river. L^pon inquiry, I found 
that Mr. Thing had planted four or five acres of potatoes, besides 
some beets and cabbages, which latter we were able to purchase. 
The potatoes, however, were not to be obtained by the regular 
business transaction of cash down. In the first place, they were 
'planted on the sod;' that is, two rounds were plowed, the pota- 
toes dropped in the last furrow, and covered by the sod of the 
next round, and so on. The 'Squire's' field was in the prairie. 


between Trenton and the bluffs. The season was not favorable 
for rotting the sod. and the tubers were hard to excavate. He 
wanted help, which was hard to get. We wanted potatoes, and 
money wouldn't buy them. Consequently it was 'root, hog r 
die-' with us. and we went to rooting. A hard day's work 
unearthed ten bushels to the man, for which one bushel was given 
as wages. 1 have to this day a very acute appreciation of the 
pleasant occupation I Mas then engaged in. Just fancy my get- 
ting up at ± o'clock in the morning, breaking my fast as soon as 
possible, getting into a canoe, with hoe, basket and sack, and 
paddling up to Trenton, thence to the field. Now commences the 
dissection of that gutta percha sod, with a plantation hoe. A 
little experience in another line of business enabled me to get 
the hang of the thing. In getting honey out of a hollow tree, the 
best way is to cut two carfs into the cavity, then split off the 
block of timber between. The same rule held good in the present 
instance, but I must say I never saw sod so tough, potatoes so 
hard to get at, and so small when I got them. But as an offset, 
I have never eaten potatoes of an equal excellence. And I was 
prouder of the ten bushel I thus acquired than the biggest buck 
I ever arrested in his wild career through the woods, or the 
largest trout I ever landed from the clear, rushing waters of his 
native brook. Just think of it, ten bushels all my own ; no gift ; 
not begged, but earned. One hundred bushels torn from the 
rugged earth, ninety given as a peace offering, but ten my own, 
for use and dissipation. I think I didn't dissipate. On my back 
I nightly bore my wages down to my gondola, and sailed away 
for home. But I have dwelt too long on this subject, time has 
mellowed down all of pain that was associated with the circum- 
stance, and the recollection is now pleasurable, and full of inter- 
est to me in my musings and speculations. 

"Leaving this portion of my subject, I must now refer to one 
full of interest to me, but probably not so acceptable to the 
majority of my audience. Among the first items of information 
I obtained from the Indians was that the small spring brooks 
contained an abundance of trout, and the equally gratifying 
intelligence that they never used them as an article of food; in 
fact their religious notions tabooed their use. From the name 
they gave the speckled beauties, I would infer they considered 
them too bad to eat. Hogal-wichasta-sni, literally wicked man 
fish, is not suggestive of high appreciation among the Indian 
community. They believed some malign influence resided in the 
fish, and that to eat them would be to invite disease, and the 
anger of the gods. This feeling was very prevalent among them. 
and Wacoota, the chief, being invited to take dinner with me, at 
which meal I informed him there would be a dish of trout, lie 


consented to be present, provided we would lock the doors, eat 
dinner upstairs, hang a curtain before the windows, and say 
nothing of what he had eaten. This was done, and old 'Shooter' 
made a very hearty meal, as Indians are likely to do, but I 
thought, during the trout course, that he acted as though the 
morsels were hard to swallow, like a boy bolting his first oyster, 
and that qualms of conscience interfered with deglutitation. He 
ate frequently with me afterwards, but I cannot say that trout 
ever appeared to be a favorite dish with him. 

"All the streams within the limits of our county abounded 
with trout, with the exception of Prairie creek, the Pine Island 
branch of the Zumbro, and the Little Cannon. The latter stream 
has since been stocked, and now affords very fair sport, the run 
of trout being large. I only fished in four of these streams the 
first two years of my residence here, to-wit : Trout brook, the 
little stream emptying into Hay creek ; Spring creek and Bul- 
lard's creek. The first of these, however, being adjacent to town, 
was where I got my supply for home use. An hour or two in the 
evening would net me eight or ten pounds of fish. 

"in my various tramps through the country, when I struck a 
stream at a ford or ripple it was no uncommon thing to see 
dozens 'of trout rushing and tumbling over each other in their 
haste to reach their hiding places in deep water. On Hay creek 
I have thus frightened from a shallow ripple more than fifty 
pounds of fish at one time, and though I always carry an ample 
supply of fishing tackle with me, I never wet a line in that stream 
until 1854. This, I consider, the greatest instance of self-denial 
and resistance to temptation on record. I could cite many 
instances where better men probably have signally failed, and 
where the restraining influence would have been much stronger. 
The reason why I did not gratify my natural instincts was the 
opposing one — and true sportsman maxim — never to kill what 
you cannot make use of; and also, I am too great a lover of the 
gentle art to hasten the extinction, through a mere wantonness, 
of a creature that has so largely contributed to my pleasure and 

"With your permission. I will relate one of these instances, 
although properly not occurring in the early settlement of the 
county, premising my recital with the explanation that the cause 
of the temptation was a large, beautifully colored specimen of 
the gamest of all game fish — the trout. 

"A party from below, accredited to our fishing club as being 
'all right.' arrived here and requested information as to where 
they could enjoy a couple of weeks' good sporting during the 
hot month of July. The very paradise of fishing grounds was 
selected for them, and the next day their camp was pitched on a 


beautiful spot ou Rush river in the state of Wisconsin. A few 
rods of open priarie stretched down to the river from the camp, 
and the small, orchard-like trees surrounding offered an inviting 
shade. In front loomed up big bluffs, covered with tall timber; 
back of the camp the ground rose in a succession of plateaus, 
until the general level of the country was attained. Taking it 
all in all, it was one of the loveliest situations for the purposes 
of a sportsman's camp that I ever beheld. An invitation to call 
and break bread with them was accepted, and in a few days John 
Webster, Billy B., Sam Stevens and myself, were on the 'old 
battle ground' with rod, reel, line and various other appliances 
deemed necessary on such occasions. "We found our friends en- 
joying themselves admirably. They had established friendly 
relations with the neighboring settlers and could not be better 
situated. One of the party was a minister of the gospel of the 
Methodist denomination, a Pennsylvanian by birth, brought up 
among the mountains of Sinnemahoning, as pure and unsophis- 
ticated as regards evil, as the mountain brooks of his native home. 
From his surroundings in childhood he could not have been less 
than a keen sportsman and be a man. 

''The country in the locality had been sparsely inhabited for 
a number of years. Young men with young families had settled 
there, and fer a time had not felt the necessity of education or 
religious instruction. As their families grew up, however, several 
had expressed a determination to leave on account of their fam- 
ilies growing up ignorant in these particulars and devoid of a 
knowledge of the amenities and conventionalities of social life. 
A slight impetus of immigration has raised their drooping spirits, 
and by an effort they had just completed a school house, which, on 
the Sabbath, they used as a church when a wandering minister 
traveled that way. This being the situation, word was given out 
that our reverend sportsman, Brother Shaffer, would, with divine 
permission, give them a discourse on the ensuing Sabbath, at such 
an hour as might suit their convenience. Nature had been lavish 
of gifts to our friend of herculean proportions. He was deep 
chested, strong limbed, and with a voice as clear as the clarion's 
notes, combined with the resonance of distant artillery, yet he 
could modulate it to the murmur of a mountain rill, under the 
controllings of genial influences. His invariable practice, after the 
evening meal, as the shades of night drew on, was to retire a short 
distance from the camp, and I presume offer up his devotions, and 
then break forth in evening hymn, which caused all camp avoca- 
tions to be suspended. The very birds ceased their songs; the 
gambolings of the little denizens of the forest and the busy hum 
of insect life seemed hushed. Naught of earth was heard but the 
voice of praise and the gentle murmur of the passing stream, in 


fitting unison. We were not the only auditors. The powerful voice 
of the singer had penetrated far into the surrounding woods. 
Hearers had learned when to enjoy the pleasure and would silently 
approach the camp without their presence being known, that they 
might more clearly appreciate the beauty of the song. A religious 
feeling was aroused, and the hearts of the community were in 
sympathy with Brother Shaffer. On Sunday morning all the 
inmates of the camp were on their way to the place of meeting, 
and it appeared that the entire population was in motion. By the 
roads, footpaths, and through the woods they came, until the 
house was full and groups standing on the outside. The speaker 
gave them a discourse suited to their wants. The grand old woods 
and the crystal Avaters came in as blessings which should be 
thankfully acknowledged in their devotions to God, together 
with the sustenance and pleasure derived therefrom. The re- 
marks were appreciated, and I will venture that seed Avas sown 
there that time will not smother, nor the germinal principal decay, 
without bringing forth much fruit. 

"After the sermon all the fishing party returned to camp, 
with the exception of our clerical friend, who was requested to 
stay and conduct the exercises of the class and Sunday school. 
In course of the afternoon. Webster and myself took a stroll on 
the hillside back of our camp, where the river, running a few 
yards from the path, at the base of the hill, was plainly visible in 
the interval between the trees. The pools of water were as calm 
as the sleep of an infant. The quieting influence of the day ap- 
peared to have affected the inmates of the waters, and their 
usual lively demonstrations were sobered down to a gentle motion 
of their fins to keep them in suspension in their liquid element. 
A cosy shelf on the hillside invited a rest and we sat down to 
enjoy the scene. Anon a ripple in the stream attracted attention. 
'Twas not larger than that caused by a drop of rain. Nothing 
was said, but my eyes were riveted on the spot. 'Twas repeated 
and in the same place. I saw that I should fall into temptation, 
to avoid which I ingloriously fled. AVhat Webster saw, I know 
not, but when he returned to camp his eyes had a prominence 
and convexity that indicated haying 'seen sights,' and his manner 
that of a high state of nervous excitement. I said he returned. 
He did, but he disappeared again, in a state of mind that caused 
serious apprehension on the part of his friends. In a short time 
Shaffer arrived, and selecting a tufty, shady spot, threw himself 
prone on the ground, discoursing pleasantly of the happiness he 
felt in having been allowed to minister to the wants of a people 
so much in need of gospel teaching and so willing to receive it. 
I heard him, and cordially was with him in spirit, but my eyes 

HISTORY OF GOODHUE (*<>( vn 131 

Mere on the path, over the shingle and up the river, where our 
absent friend evidently had gone. After a time my apprehensions 
were almost quieted in regard to "Webster, and I was watching 
the countenance of the speaker as it swayed under the various 
emotions called up by the incidents of the day, when a noise 
startled me. Turning around I saw Webster approaching a few 
yards away, evidently in a more easy state of mind. On he came, 
and 1 was hopeful that none of the proprieties of the day or occa- 
sion had been violated, but when within ten feet of me he sud- 
denly extended his right arm, softly exclaiming 'Look there.' I 
sprang to my feet and beheld the very incarnation of piscatorial 
beauty, his colors unladed and the light of life still in his eye. 
My exclamation brought Brother Shaffer to a sitting position. 
His eyes had an imperfect vision, and he sternly exclaimed, 'Oh,, 
you wicked, wicked man.' Webster skilfully displayed the full- 
length broadside to view. Brother Shaffer was on his feet in a 
twinkling, fondling the fish, and the words, 'Oh, isn't he a 
beauty!' burst involuntarily from his lips, his admiration obliter- 
ating all thought of the crime. A rebuke was now powerless, as 
he himself, by his involuntary exclamation and action, was not 
above the temptation^ but in fact participated in the fault. 

"The human countenance, as a reflex mirror of impressions on 
the mental organization, is a pleasing and instructive study, from, 
the very inception of the stimuli on the infant brain up to its 
maximum in mature manhood, thence following on the w T aning 
side of life to those changes which shadow forth the coming of 
second childhood. Friend Shaffer's physiognomy for a brief 
season well repaid study and analyzation. First were traces of 
sorrow and rebuke, then surprise and wonder, followed quickly 
by signs of extravagant admiration, thence down the grade to 
shame and humiliation. The thought waves were electrical in 
velocity — each ripple expressing a sentiment or emotion which 
the most rapid symbolism could not trace on paper. A single 
character would have to represent the emotional name ; to eluci- 
date it would require pages, yet it was plainly written, and in as 
legible characters as though carved in 'monumental marble.' 
With a sigh he subsided into his former position, realizing, doubt- 
less, the weakness and imperfection of human nature, and that 
even the best of men are as 'prone to do evil as the sparks are 
to fly upw T ard.' 

"I think all those who saw that little episode will never for- 
get it. It Avas one of the incidents that language cannot com- 
municate or the artist's pencil portray; the finer features of the 
picture would be inevitably lost. My thoughts called up Uncle 
Toby's violation of the third commandment, in his anxiety to 
relieve the poor lieutenant, and I would adopt the author's views 


as to the criminality in the case, with a very slight alteration : 
That the accusing spirit which flew up to Heaven's chancery with 
the fault blushed as he gave it in; and the recording angel, as he 
wrote it down, dropped a tear upon the word, blotting it out 

"In the fall of 1852, having a fishing-seine in our possession, 
we organized a fishing party, and built the necessary craft for 
running a fishery. "We began the enterprise for the purpose of 
supplying our own wants. Meeting with great success, and 
having nothing else to do, salt and barrels were procured, and in 
a short time we supplied St. Paul with forty barrels of good fish, 
at the remarkably low price of $6 per barrel. Our fishing ground 
was the 'Bay.' on the Wisconsin side, about a mile above Bay 
City. Large quantities were caught, of all the kinds inhabiting 
the river, but we only preserved the best fish, rejecting pike, 
pickerel, bass, sturgeon, dog-fish, sheep-head and gars, while the 
rich, fat and luscious cat, buffalo and carp were carefully cleaned 
and salted, well repaying us for our labor. At one haul of our 
seine, in the lake referred to, we took out over eight barrels of 
fish, when cleaned and packed, besides an innumerable quantity 
of the 'baser sort' as before indicated. 

'These remarks may provoke satirical comments from the 
members of that class of fisherman who think that the mantle of 
old Izaak Walton has fallen on them individually, and that their 
palates and peculiar notions should form the standard of true 
sport and gustatory excellence. But to these I would say, we 
only wanted such fish as would repay us in nutriment and feed 
for the animal economy, when the mercury ranged from zero to 
forty below. This was supplied by our selection, some of the fish 
yielding over a pint of good oil. Pike, pickerel, bass and trout, 
as salted fish, are about as nutrient as floating islands, puffs, 
pastry and gimeracks. and all are measurably worthless as food 
to strong, hearty working men. 

"A short description of three or four of the Indian celebrities 
of the village may not be out of place. I will commence with 
'Waeoota' — literally the 'Shooter.' chief of the band. 

"Wacoota stood about six feet in his moccasins, was well pro- 
portioned, and, I judge, about sixty-five years of age when I 
knew him. He was the most intelligent man in the band, with the 
exception of Wa-kon-toppy. He was friendly to the whites, and 
much disposed to adopt the habits and customs of civilized life, 
and consequently without much authority among the reckless 
young men of the village. His schemes for promoting the well- 
being of his people were thwarted by Mahpiya-maza, or Iron 
Cloud, second in rank, but first in real power. 

Mahpiya-maza was a crafty, intriguing politician, favoring 


all the raiding propensities of the young men, stimulating opposi- 
tion to any advancement in civilization; begging when it would 
accomplish his object; threatening when he thought he had the 
power to do injury — a base, bad man, and a thorough savage, 
whom no kindness could bind in the bonds of friendship, nor 
reason influence to adopt views salutatory to the welfare of his 
band. His only redeeming trait of character was his advocacy 
of the cause of temperance. His death, in the latter part of the 
summer of 1852, freed the whites of the annoyance of his presence 
and counsels. Being indisposed with symptoms of biliousness 
indicating cholera, which was then prevalent along the river, he 
called at Mr. Potter's trading house, and espying a demijohn, he 
asked if it contained minne-wakon (whiskey). Mr. Potter told 
him it did not, that it was cha-han-ti-cha (molasses or tree sap). 
The old fellow immediately asked for a donation, but was in- 
formed that it belonged to Paska, as E. C. Stevens was called by 
the Sioux. Iron Cloud then left on a hunt for Mr. Stevens, first 
stopping at his own tepee and getting a good-sized coffee pot, as 
though sure of his object. After finding Mr. Stevens he succeeded 
in getting the molasses. In a day or two this medicine was dis- 
posed of, but the patient was not much benefited by its use, and 
importunate for more. Mr. Stevens came to me and inquired 
what would be the result if old Mahpiya repeated the dose. My 
reply was that it would kill him as dead as Julius Caesar. But 
importunity finally obtained the coveted sweets, and in a few 
hours a messenger arrived from a lodge in the Indian corn-field, 
who told me that Iron Cloud was very sick and wanted to see me. 
I accompanied the messenger and on entering the tent found it 
occupied by the sick man stretched on a robe. His wife had 
ranged in a semi-circle six of the most popular medicine-men, 
dressed in very unprofessional costume, or rather in undress, for 
the united apparel of the whole conclave would not have afforded 
material enough for a pair of leggins. The doctors looked very 
sullen at my intrusion, but the patient told me that they had 
done him no good, and wanted me to do what I could for him. 
Upon examination I found him past all remedies, so I left. In an 
hour a Avail told me of the departure of Maphiya-maza to the 
happy hunting ground of the Indian spirit world. 

"T'maza-washta, or Good Iron, was the next man of import- 
ance in the village. Taller than Wacoota, always smiling, a 
rebuff never ruffled his equanimity. A friend of both the Wacoota 
and Iron Cloud factions, he successfully performed the difficull 
feat of carrying water on both shoulders, as the phrase is. On 
the death of the second chief. Good Iron was excessively amiable, 
making feasts and otherwise doing those things which we in 


civilized life see so frequently performed by aspiring men thirst- 
ing for political distinction. The old fellow being so good- 
natured, I frequently gave more heed to his requests than was 
proper or necessary, and he had reached the conclusion that he 
had only to ask and he would receive the favor. He wanted to 
be the second chief. A delegation of Indians from Wabasha 
stopped at our village, and Good Iron concluded a big feast would 
bring him the desired elevation. I had a fat cow and a good one, 
and an equally fat clog, but in no other particular did the dog 
resemble the cow. Now these two animals, in old T'maza's esti- 
mation, would just about furnish the necessary amount of influ- 
ence to place him in possession of the object of his aspirations. 
Accordingly, all smiles, lie preferred his request, and, of course 
was refused. He was a little crestfallen at first, but he soon 
laughed and said : 'My friend, you always gave me what I asked 
for. Now. when 1 have friends come to see me and I want to 
feast them yon refuse me your cow and your dog. It is not good.' 
I couldn't see the logic. The old beggar got to be second chief, 

"Maca-tiniza, meaning Standing Earth, more generally known 
among the whiles as 'Old Scolder,' was a regular old masculine 
termagant. Nothing suited him. His only luxury was gambling, 
and he enjoyed thai to an unlimited extent. He was, however, 
a stricl Good Templar, and not a bad Indian; hut his unfortunate 
peculiarity remhred him anything but a favorite among his 
people, lie attended church frequently and behaved very well, 
excepl on one occasion. 1 had made Wacoota a one-horse train, 
or sled, the first winter of my residence here. The 'Scolder' knew 
of this, and one Sabbath when we were all at church and Mr. 
Hancock was in the midst of his discourse; the old man and his 
wife entered. Giving a succession of grunts, he said: 'I have 
come to church to learn to ho good, and maybe the Good Spirit 
will smile on me. so that Pezutawichasta (my Indian name) will 
make me a sled.' The old fellow grinned at his interruption of 
the service, ami I concluded that his religion was not of a serious 
nature, or likely to become chronic. I never saw him sleigh- 
riding, hut I am informed that he was one of those unfortunates 
who perished on the scaffold at Mankato at the- close of the Indian 
war in our state. 

" Wakon-toppy Esteemed Sacred) was my friend, and with 
him I will conclude my list. He was honest, honorable and intel- 
ligent, a true man whether judged by the savage or civilized 
standard. This man was the only Indian I ever knew whose word 
and character were above reproach. The traders gave him credit 
whenever he desired, sure that they would receive prompt pay- 


merit. Whatever he slated to be a fact could be relied on. He 
frequently camped with me, and it was my especial delight to fill 
our camp-kettle with eatables enough for a dozen men, and in 
addition thereto make a corresponding amount of pezuta-saps 
(black medicine or coffee) and then drawl over the meal, eating 
slowly, constantly replenishing Wakon-toppy 's plate and cup, 
which he made a point of honor to empty as soon as possible, until 
the old fellow would heave a deep sigh and cry out 'Ozhuta!' 
(full). Whenever this was accomplished, look out for yarns. I 
have lain in the tent and listened for five long hours at a stretch 
to the tales, traditions, history of the feats in war and hunting. 
He had never gone on a raid against the Chippewas, but he had 
followed the warpath south and west against the Saukies and 
Omahas. His father was adopted into a Dakota family, having 
been taken prisoner when he was very young in one of the Dakota 
forays against the Sauks and Foxes, and finally married a sister 
of Ti-tan-ka Monia, or Walking Buffalo, a very influential chief, 
and father of Wacoota. Wakon-toppy was very anxious to adopt 
civilized habits, and I wrote several letters, at his dictation, to the 
Indian Agent, in which he desired the government to give him 
eighty acres of land, and he would release all claims to annuities. 
He even went so far as to stake out his claim, which was where 
the village of Mazeppa now is. and was where he made his winter 
hunting ground for a long period of years, and where he wished 
his bones to rest when the Master of Life should summon him 
hence to a residence in the spirit world. His letters were. unan- 
swered and he was not allowed to hold his claim when the whites 
came, but was driven off with threats of violence. He stayed 
around here until after the Spirit Lake massacre. Finally, con- 
cluding to go up to Red Wood, the then place of residence of our 
old band, he gave me a history of Ink-pa-duta and his followers, 
and told me if he could get permission he would lead his party 
against them. In the fall an Indian messenger on his way to 
Wabasha stopped at my house, at the old man's request, and gave 
me an account of the expedition. Wakon-toppy had kept his 
word. Nearly all the inmates of the three lodges perished by the 
hands of their own kindred. This man, so prompt to avenge the 
wrongs of the whites, perished miserably in confinement at Daven- 
port, for no other crime than that of not being able to control the 
young men of his family in the Indian difficulties on the frontier. 
From his imprisonment at Mankato he sent me word, by Lieu- 
tenant Comstock, that his fault was in letting his son have a 
horse, not knowing the purpose for which it was to be used. If 
previous good character in any man is to be relied on, then was 
Wakon-toppy an innocent victim. 


"In the spring of 1853 I farmed the old Indian cornfield. 
The crop was oats, corn, seven acres of potatoes, six of rutabagas, 
turnips, pumpkins, cabbages, beans, etc., all of which yielded 
largely. In the fall I needed help to secure the corn and potatoes, 
and there was no other resource than to hire native laborers, the 
white population of the county not exceeding one hundred souls. 
The Indian camp was situated on the Mississippi river, near the 
mouth of the Cannon river. I dug a few rows across the potato 
patch in order to ascertain what a day's work might be, and 
found that six rows were a moderate day's labor, but knowing 
the Indians pretty well I decided to make four the standard. 
This done, I sent word to the camp that twenty women were 
wanted to help me, who should receive a barrel of potatoes for 
every four times they dug across the field. The next morning 
found me at the patch, but 9 o'clock arrived before they came. 
At last thirteen women hove in sight, accompanied by about two 
dozen dogs, a like number of children, several camp kettles, sack 
straps and hoes. In a short time the business preliminaries were 
adjusted by the high contracting parties. Among the operatives 
were the Princess Royal Lucy and her niece, Weenona. 

"About 11 o'clock, after working about an hour and a half, 
the workers stopped work and held a short council, and I was 
soon informed of the result of their deliberations, which was 
nothing less than that I should get dinner for them. I refused 
to cook for such a crowd, but we finally compromised by my 
furnishing pork and bread. Vegetables were close at hand. A 
note was written to my wife on a white basswood chip, desiring 
her to let the bearer have eight pounds of pork and all the bread 
she could spare. The messenger ran off on the errand like a deer, 
while an old squaw rigged three tripods for camp kettles, washed 
potatoes and turnips, and cut up cabbages and pumpkins ; then 
when the pork arrived it was all dumped into the kettles together. 
When it was cooked it was sufficient for a company of infantry 
who had been on a short allowance of hard tack, but it all dis- 
appeared under the united efforts of women, children and dogs. 
At the close of the day all received their wages — two women 
having accomplished eight rows each, each of them receiving two 
barrels, which they all took home with them, promising to return 
the next day. 

"The next morning thirty-two squaws appeared, with the 
usual accompaniment, and the same number continued until the 
field was finished. When the last round was dug we were all 
grouped together on a slope between Main and Third streets, and 
women talking and joking. Lucy stepped up to me and said r. 
'Pezuta-wichasta. do you know the reason why you have not 


worked any in the field?' I thought I saw mischief in her eye, 
and looking around observed the same sign among the dusky 
crowd ; but not to be beat by squaws I replied : 'Yes, it is because 
there are so many women to work for me, there is no need of my 
working.' She said: 'No, no, that is not it; you are little and 
not strong, and cannot work,' tossing her blanket off as she 
made the remark. I saw the point at once, and felt relieved, as 
that was one of my best holds. I told her I was strong enough 
for any in that crowd. No sooner were the words out of my 
mouth than Lucy pitched in, and was thrown a double somersault 
the first time. Another essay was made, with like result. A little 
whispered parley took place, and a challenge for a third trial 
was given. We squared ourselves shoulder to shoulder, Lucy 
gripping like a vice. Just as the struggle commenced I felt 
myself grasped from behind, and knew I had got into difficulty. 
The outside pressure was heavy against me- — tripping, yelling and 
laughter. The best I could do was to make of it what in my 
youth was called a 'dog fall'; that is a tumble into a promiscuous 
heap, without anyone being uppermost enough to speak of, and 
this was accomplished. I extricated myself from the confused 
mass, and concluded not to engage any further in this undignified 
pastime, knowing very well that fair play couldn't be had in that 
crowd. Then they dispersed, having gathered for me over 1,000 
bushels of potatoes, exclusive of their own wages. From this 
crop I never realized a dollar, as there was no market, but it 
answered very well for gratuitous distribution in the spring 
of 1854. 

"Having such success in operating with native labor, I con- 
cluded to put up eight acres of corn, so as to secure the fodder 
for my stock, it being, as yet, but little injured by the frost. The 
services of a married woman and her sister were secured, beside 
two boys of ten or twelve years of age. The girl was sixteen or 
seventeen years old, and the most mischievous imp I ever saw. 
She appeared to have grown too fast for the apparel she had on, 
for I noticed that her upper garments refused to form a junction 
at the waist with that portion designed as a protection for the 
lower parts of the body. Myself and the women cut up the corn ; 
the duty of the boys was to place it in the shock. After work- 
ing pretty hard, the day being warm, I called a rest and we all 
sat down, I fanning myself with a large straw hat. When it was 
time to resume labor the women were told to go to work. The 
girl laughingly refused, telling me to work myself. After a little 
parley she finally got up and advanced close to where I was 
sitting. Making a remark to attract my attention away from 
her, she dexterously seized my hat by the rim and sent it sailing 


over the cornfield, and then bounded like a deer to get out of my 
reach; but she was too late. Without rising, I threw myself 
forward in the direction she was going, grasping desperately at 
the same time. I caught the hem of her garment and something 
gave away. When I recovered an upright position and my equa- 
nimity, I saw a dark piece of feminine apparel lying on the 
ground, and what to my astonished gaze appeared to be a pair of 
preambulating tongs scudding through the corn. The girl hid 
herself behind a shock and commenced pleading for her clothes. 
After tormenting her enough, I exacted a promise that she would 
behave herself and go to work, and then, sent one of the boys with 
the desired garment. When she rejoined the company her coun- 
tenance had a very 'decided vermilion tinge, and I thus discov- 
ered that a s<|iia\v could blush." 

Joseph W. Hancock was born in Orford, N. H., April 4, 1816. 
He attended the public schools at that place and followed this by 
a course at the academy located in Bradford, Yt. As a young 
man he taught in various places in New England, and in 1841 
started out for the West. He journeyed down the Ohio river to 
the Mississippi, and then came north as far as Quiney, 111. Here 
he taughl school for a while and soon afterward had a class 
among the Winnebago Indians in Iowa. Later he taught a private 
school in Prairie du Chien, Wis. He found, however, that although 
he had come west for the sake of his health, the change of climate 
had not worked the desired change and consequently he returned 
to the East and spent some time at Saratoga. N. Y., where he 
found the water from the springs to be of great benefit. In 1846 
he was united in marriage with Martha Maria Houghton, a sister 
of H. 0. Houghton, the noted Boston publisher. In 1848 Mr. 
Hancock received ;i commission from the American Board of 
Foreign Missions to become a missionary to the Sioux Indians, 
west of the Mississippi, and was sent to the Indian village of Red 
Wing, in the Northwest territory, where a band of Indians had 
long been located, and where missionary efforts had previously 
been conducted. The first white person known to have been 
buried within the limits of Goodhue county was the wife of Mr. 
Hancock. After two years of service among the Sioux her health 
gave away and she died March 21, 1851. To this union were born 
two children. William died in infancy, the other is Mrs. William 
Holliday. In 1852 he was married to Sarah Rankin, who died in 
March, 1859, leaving two children, Stella and James Otis. In 
October, 1860, he was united in marriage with Juliet Thompson, 
who died in 1897. Mr. Hancock began preaching to the early 
settlers in 1852. and in January, 1855, organized the First Presby- 
terian Church of Red Wing, of which he was pastor for seven 
years. During the remainder of his life he was connected with 

Bey. Joseph "\Y. Hancock. 


TUB K** W* w 





that church. He helped to organize the AVinona presbytery in 
1855, being one of the three clergymen who founded it. In addi- 
tion to his religious work, Mr. Hancock was in various capacities 
connected with the civic life of the community. He was first 
postmaster in Red Wing, and was appointed by Governor Ram- 
sey, territorial governor of Minnesota, as register of deeds in 
1855. In the fall of that year he was elected to the office by the 
people. He was deeply interested in educational affairs and in 
the early history of the community had much to do in shaping 
the school interests. From 1862 to 1865 he was superintendent of 
schools in Goodhue county, and from 1870 to 1880 again served 
in the same capacity. His latter years were spent practically in 
retirement. He published a short history of the county in 1893, 
and to his writings the managers of the present publication are 
greatly indebted. 

William B. Hancock, deceased, was one of those heroes who 
gave the best of the young manhood to the cause of their country, 
having come out of the nation's great civil struggle badly 
crippled, and doomed to suffer more or less pain for the remain- 
der of his natural days. He was born at Orford, N. H., January 
26. 1832. son of Joseph and Lydia (Peek) Hancock, both natives 
of New England. The father was a farmer and blacksmith all 
his life. He went to Vermont in early manhood, but in his declin- 
ing years returned to New Hampshire, where he died in 1876. 
His wife died many years before, in 1832. William B. received 
his education in Vermont, and after leaving school farmed with 
his father. At the outbreak of the Civil War, when the Green 
Mountain boys were rallying to the support of the Union and the 
flag which the sons of that state love so well, he in 
August, 1861. at Montpelier, Vt.. serving in Company H, 6th Ver- 
mont Volunteer Infantry. He was wounded at Lee's Mills, in 
April, 1862, in both limits, as the result of which he was left 
crippled for the rest of his life. In the early clays he came to 
Featherstone township, this county, bringing with him his family, 
ready to establish a home-tree in this new and rich country. He 
first bought eighty acres, to which he added from time to time 
until he owned 200 acres, on which he carried on general farming 
with much success, in 1899 he retired and moved to Red AVing. 
where he died, November 24. 1907. He was a Republican in 
politics, and a believer in the religious doctrines set forth by tie 
CJniversalist denomination. Mr. Hancock was married. December 
13, 1855, at Berlin, Vt., to Laura B. Smith, a daughter of Abner 
and Rebecca (Carr) Smith, natives of the Green Mountain state 
Her father was a carpenter and joiner, a vocation he followed 
until the beginning of the war. He joined the Union army, serv- 
ing in Company B, 1st Vermont Volunteer Infantry. Al the 


battle of Cold Harbor, June 1, 1864, when the New England regi- 
ments were being mowed down like grass, he gave up his life in 
defense of his country and the principles in which he so thor- 
oughly believed. To Mr. and Mrs. Hancock were born four 
children. Eugene A. is the capable manager of the family estate 
at Featherstone, having taken charge of the home farm in 1899. 
He lives at 1208 Twelfth street, in Red Wing, with his mother, 
driving to and fro to attend to his duties on the farm. Fred L., 
the second son, died in infancy at Worcester, Vt. Arabella R. 
married Hiram Watson, of Red Wing. The youngest child, N. 
Maude, married Gustave Kunze, an insurance agent, of St. Paul. 
William W. Sweney, M. D., was the second physician who set- 
tled in Minnesota for the purpose of practicing his profession. 
He located in St. Paul in April, 1850. Dr. Murphy had settled 
there the year before Dr. Sweney was the son of Alexander M. 
and Mary M. Kehr Sweney. and was born in Northumberland 
county, Pennsylvania, in the year 1818. His father was of Scotch- 
Irish, and his mother of Piedmontese-Huguenot descent. When 
William was eighteen years old he moved to Fulton county, 
Illinois, having previously obtained an academic education in 
his native town. He read medicine with Dr. Abram Hull, of 
Marietta, 111., practiced in connection with him in 1848-9, and 
graduated a1 Rush Medical College, Chicago, after settling in 
Minnesota. In May, 1852, he came to Red Wing, which was at 
that time an Indian town, on the Mississippi, having an Indian 
farmer, John Bush, and an Indian missionary, Rev. Joseph W. 
Hancock. The doctor gave his services to the Indians, whenever 
called upon, freely, and w;is highly esteemed by them. After 
the Indians were removed, as settlers multiplied. Dr. Sweney's 
professional business increased, and for a quarter of a century 
he had as many and as long rides as any one man could reason- 
ably desire. He always had the confidence of the people up to 
the time he was unable to practice longer. He was a member 
of the Goodhue County and of the State Medical Society; was 
president of the former in 1872, and of the latter in 1873. He 
wrote several essays on the "Climatology and Diseases of Min- 
nesota," a prize essay on the "Epidemics and Endemics of Min- 
nesota," a prize essay on "Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis"; also on 
a few other subjects. He was elected to the territorial legisla- 
ture in 1857, serving in the last session before Minnesota became 
a state. He also held office several terms in the municipality of 
Red Wing. In politics he was a state's rights Democrat, but no 
disunionist; not an active politician in his latter years. Dr. 
Sweney was married in Fulton county, Illinois, in 1841, to Maria 
Freeborn, daughter of Richard Freeborn, of that place, who emi- 
grated to Minnesota early in the fifties and died in Red Wing 


about 1870, in a good old age. Dr. Sweney's favorite pastime 
was trout fishing, though he often indulged in the pursuit of other 
game in the early days. He was a good physician, cautious of 
giving medicine when he was convinced that none was needed, 
ever ready to attend the calls of the suffering, whether poor or 
rich. He was a quiet and unassuming man, yet always consid- 
°red a prominent citizen in Red Wing. His death occurred in 
August, 1882. His funeral was attended, at the Episcopal church, 
by the largest number of all classes of citizens ever assembled on 
a like occasion in the previous history of the place. The church 
was crowded and its entrances thronged. The procession which 
followed his remains to their final rest in Oakwood consisted of 
the various orders of secret societies, the firemen and all the. 
various benevolent associations of the city. 



Organization and Original Names — Belle Creek — Belvidere — 
Burnside — Cherry Grove — Central Point — Early Settlement. 

Goodhue county received its name in honor of James M. 
Goodhue, the pioneer editor and printer of the state, who at the 
time of his early death, in 1852, had already won for himself 
name and fame as well as influence in the new territory. It con- 
sists of twenty-three townships, all of which are practically the 
same in area and name as when first constituted in 1858. They 
are: Welch, Burnside. Wacoota, Stanton, Cannon Falls, Vasa, 
Featherstone, Bay Creek, Florence, Central Point, Warsaw, 
Leon, Belle Creek, Goodhue, Belvidere, Holden, Wanamingo, 
Minneola, Zumbrota, Kenyon, Cherry Grove, Eoscoe and Pine 
Island. Red Wing formerly had a township organization. Pre- 
vious to 1858 precincts had been established, but townships were 
not laid out as regularly organized political divisions until that 
year, when, under a new ad passed by the legislature, Martin S. 
Chandler. William P. Tanner and Jesse Mclntire, the three gen- 
tlemen selected, defined and named the townships in Goodhue 
county as follow^. Where no note is made of subsequent 
changes, the township at present remains as at that time con- 

Belle Creek, all of township 111, range 16. 

Cherry Grove, all of township 109, range 17. 

Central Point, all of that part of township 112, range 12, 
lying in Goodhue county. 

Cannon Falls, all of township 112, range 17. 

Featherstone, all of township 112, range 15. 

Florence, all of that part of township 112, range 13, lying in 
Goodhue county. 

Holden, all of township 110, range 18. 

Hay Creek, all of township 112, range 14. 

Kenyon, all of township 112, range 18. 

Leon, all of township 111, range 17. 

Pine Island, all of township 109, range 15. 

Eoscoe, all of township 109, range 16. 



Red Wing (now city), the west half of township 113, range 14, 
fractional, and sections 13, 24, 25 and 36, township 113, range 15. 
Two of the sections originally placed in Red Wing were after- 
ward set off and attached to Bivrnside. 

Stanton, all of township 113, range IS, lying in Goodhue 

Union, all of township 113, range 16, north of Cannon river. 
All of township 113, range 15, except sections 13, 24, 25 and 36, 
and all of township 114, ranges 15 and 16, fractional. This 
was afterward changed to Milton and then with some additions 
to Burnside. 

Yasa, all of township 112. range 16, and all of township 113, 
range 16, south of the Cannon river. 

Wauamingo, all of township 110, range 17. 

Warsaw, all of township 111, range 18. 

AYacoota, all of township 113, range 13, in Goodhue county, 
and the east half of township 113, range 14, fractional. 

York, all of township 111. ranges 14 and 15. This was 
changed first to Elmira. then to Belvidere, and a half of the 
latter was later set off as Lime, later known as Goodhue. 

Zumhrota, all of township 110, ranges 15 and 16. This was 
afterward divided and a part set off as Minneola. 

The board was notified that three of the names, those of 
Stanton, York and Union, would have to be changed. The board 
then changed Union to Milton. Stanton to Lillian, and York to 
Elmira. Stanton later assumed its original name. Later the 
committee was notified that the name of Elmira would have to 
be changed. A committee of three, Messrs. Stearns, AVhite and 
Stone, to whom this matter was referred, reported in favor of 
substituting Belvidere for Palmira, and the change was accord- 
ingly made. 

Goodhue organized September 13, 1859, in answer to a peti- 
tion, when township 111, range 15, was erected into a separate 
township called Lime, the latter name being changed to Goodhue 
in January, 1860. The township was originally a part of 

Burnside was the name applied to Milton, at the request of 
the state auditor, March 25, 1862. In March, 1864, when the 
legislature amended the city charter of Red AVing, sections 13 
and 24, township 113, range 15, were set off from Red AVing and 
attached to Burnside. 

Welch was organized March 23, 1864. when the board of 
commissioners divided Burnside by setting off the easl fractional 
half of township 114. north, range 16, west, and all of township 
113. north, range 16, west, lying north of Cannon river, into a 
separate township, and called it Grant, which on January 3, 


1872, was changed to Welch, in honor of the late Major Abram 
Edwards Welch, of Red Wing. 


Belle Creek township lies in practically the geographical 
center of the county, and constitutes one entire government 
township, its number being 111 north, range 16 west. Its area 
has remained unchanged since the township was first constituted 
in accordance with the township act of the legislature in 1858. 
Belle creek waters the western part of this township, and affords 
fair water power. It is bordered by fine stretches of hay meadows 
and an occasional ledge of limestone. Near the creek are also 
scattering groves of oaks, white birch and poplar. The surface, 
which is largely a rich, undulating, high prairie, except in the 
vicinity of the creek, is in general about 150 feet higher than its 
neighboring township of Yasa. Its other neighbors are Leon, on 
the west ; Minneola, on the south, and Goodhue, on the east. 

The first influx of whites into this section was in 1853, when 
Charles Ross and A. G. Kempe went into the township and built 
a cabin on section 5, mar the creek. They spent the winter 
there, but soon after moved north into what is now Vasa. In 
the spring, or early summer, of 1851. Walter Doyle, with his five 
sturdy sons, Henry, Richard. Michael. Walter and John, settled 
on sections 2 and 4. Benoni Hill and his sons, John, Henry and 
Thomas, came in July and made their claims on sections 5 and 8. 
James O'Neill and family also came the same year; and in the 
fall the Rev. S. P. Chandler staked out a claim, but did not move 
on it until the following spring. In 1855 the influx was rapid, 
and the town Avas soon thickly settled. A large part of the 
ground was broken up, grain sowed, and cottages built in place 
of the original cabins. 

It was not long before children came to bless the homes of 
the pioneers. Anna O'Neill was born in March, 1855, but did 
not long live to enjoy the distinction of being the first white 
child born in the township, having passed away when still a 
schoolgirl. Her father was James O'Neill. May Cook was born 
in August of the same year, daughter of Jacob Cook. John 
Cavanaugh, son of Patrick Cavanaugh. was born in November. 
The first two deaths were by accident. In the early part of the 
winter of 1855-56, Dennis Cavanaugh started to go on foot to his 
brother's, a distance of about two and a half miles. After he 
started, a terrible storm came up, and he was frozen to death 
near Hader. having lost his way. His body, which was not 
located until the snow had melted in the spring, was found three 
miles from his home, and in an opposite direction from the one 


lie should have kept to reach his brother's. His wanderings 
through the wilderness in the raging storm, until merciful death 
relieved him from his sufferings, can only be imagined. In May 
of the following spring. James Connel attempted to cross a slough 
with an axe on hi.s shoulder. In some manner he stumbled and 
fell, and the edge of the axe struck his head, causing a fracture 
of the skull which resulted in death. The first death due to 
natural causes was that of Mrs. S. P. Chandler, June 28, 1856. 

Pioneer discomforts were no dampener to the ardor of Cupid, 
and in 1856, Lewis White and Emeline Hill took before the Rev. 
S. P. Chandler the vows which made them man and wife. 
Although no .school houses were erected until 1859, as early as 
the fall of 1858 Alvin Herbert taught school in the basement of a 
stone house owned by a Mr. Kirkpatrick, and the school was 
continued in session practically every season, in some of the 
settlers' houses. 

The rich soil of tin' township showed its possibilities even in 
the earliest days, for in 1856 Walter Doyle and others obtained 
fair yields of wheat, threshed it by hand with flails and carried 
it to the Mazeppa mill to be ground. 

In 1856 James Allen laid out a village plat and christened 
the place Troy City. With sanguine hopes of the future, Jesse 
Johnson built a store and stocked it with merchandise. No other 
building was ever erected on the village site. The financial crash 
of 1857 impaired trade to such an extent that Mr. Johnson closed 
his store ; and all further attempts to build a city there were 
abandoned. A postofnce, called Burr Oak, was established in 
1854, and H. M. Doyle was appointed postmaster. This was on 
the line of the old stage route from St. Paul to Dubuque, and 
the following year, when the mail route was changed, the office 
was discontinued. During the existence of this office Mr. Doyle's 
house was the last one on the road before reaching Oronoco. 
twenty- five miles to the south, and consequently was an all-night 
stopping place for the stage, and Mr. Doyle entertained such 
prominent men of the early days as Governor Ramsey, General 
Sibley, J. C. Burbank and many others. He also entertained 
twenty-six of the principal men and chiefs of the Chippewa 
tribe, including "Hole in the Day," their head chief, when they 
were on their way to Washington. 

In 1858 another postoffice was establisbed in the southwest 
part of the town and named Belle Creek. S. P. Chandler, the 
first postmaster, retained that position for many years. There 
was no hotel, and Mr. Chandler opened his bouse for the accom- 
modation of travelers, especially the farmers of the western part 
of the county, who had no other place to stop on their way to 
Red Wing with their wheat. When the Minnesota Central rail- 


road was completed to Faribault the tide was turned toward that 
village, and Chandler's place was closed to the general public. 

At the first election, held at the residence of Walter Doyle, 
thirty votes were polled. Among the early supervisors were 
S. P. Chandler, H. M. Doyle (two terms). Michael Doyle, John 
Edwards, Francis Malloy, Walter Doyle and -lames Malloy. The 
early clerks were Patrick Drudy four terms), H. M. Doyle, 
Michael Doyle (two terms), P. J. Sheridan and Michael Doyle. 

The township did its share in the Civil War in a noble way. 
The official list of those enlisting from the township is as follows : 
Freeman J. Beers, Truman E. Beers, George Cook, James 
McGrath, John Manning, David Petty, William Gardiner, John 
Hilger, Jacob Hilger, Jacob Cook. Jr., Timothy Cavanaugh, Wal- 
ter W. Doyle, Patrick Drudy, Patrick Edwards, Martin Edwards, 
Timothy Foley, Patrick Foley. Henry L. Gilbert. Henry M. Craig, 
Patrick Malloy. Daniel AY. Malloy. Thomas Bolls. Cornelius K. 
Bylen, David Switzer, John B. Taylot, .lames Cassidy, George 
Cook, .binies Schweiger, Ruben Taylor. Horace Carpenter, Nelson 
Cannon. Elander W. Carpenter. Francis M. Irish. William J. 
More. Russell E. Snell, George Johnson, Amos Hanson, John Nels 
Johnson. Robert Smithson. Henry Kirkland, Isaac Bridell, 
Michael Cavanaugh, Xels Johnson. 

The first religious services held in this town were at the resi- 
dence of Benoni Bill, May 25, 1855, the Rev. Morris Hobart 

The Catholic church was commence. 1 in 1865, and cost over 
$3,000. The present beautiful edifice was erected in 1893. It is the 
largest congregation in the town, and has been a potent influence 
in the upbuilding of the community. 

The Episcopal church was built in 187.'! at a cost of $1,600, 
mainly through the exertions of the Rev. S. P. Chandler, who 
was pastor of the parish until his death, in 1888. 

For several years there was a post office at Ryan, in the 
eastern part of the township. 


Belvidere was given the name of York by the committee 
which had charge of the organization of the Goodhue county 
townships in 1858. At the instance of the state authorities this 
was changed to Elmira, and after the same authorities had urged 
their objections to this name it was changed to Belvidere, which 
it has since remained. Belvidere originally included what is now 
Goodhue. The township comprises government township No. Ill 
north, range 14 west. Wells creek rises in the northwestern part 
of the town, running north and east. It is fed by Clear and Rock 


creeks, and then crosses the northern boundary into Hay Creek 
township. The northern pari of Belvidere is somewhat broken 
by these streams. ;l n<l lias a hilly contour. The southern half, 
though much higher, is simply undulating, or rolling. On the 
eastern border of the town is an isolated mound, reaching an 
elevation of something like twelve hundred feet above the sea. 
Tie- soil of the township is good, and the streams afford excellent 
facilities for raising stock. Belvidere is bounded on the north by 
Bay creek, on the east and south by Wabasha county, and on the 
west by Goodhue. 

In the spring of 1855, N. B. Gaylord and his brother, George, 
located on Rock creek in the northern part of the township. In 
August of that year, Joseph S. Thompson settled on Wells creek, 
and a short time afterward he was joined by N. B. Gaylord, who 
settled near, preferring that location to the place where he took 
his original claim. 

During the fall of 1855 occurred an event which was of 
importance to the future history of the county. Claus Hoist, and 
a number of other German families, took up their residence near 
the head waters of AY ells creek, and began opening up farms. 
The part w T hich the German pioneers and their descendants have 
taken in the development of the county is related at some length 
in another chapter. In 1856 there came an influx of immigration 
to this township, and the farms were soon settled up. 

Ida Thompson was the first child born in the township. June 
13, 1856. The first marriage was that of George Steele and Junia 
Pingrey, a sister of Mrs. J. S. Thompson, at whose house the cere- 
mony was performed. August 14. 1855. by J. B. Smith. Etta Gay- 
lord, aged two years, died in 1858, the first death in the tOAvnship. 
Rev. John Watson held religious services in the house of Nelson 
B. Gaylord as early as the summer of 1856. Delia Eggleston 
taught a school in the room of her father's house in 1857, this 
being the first school in that section of the country. 

N. B. Gaylord, in 1858, having a good water power, put in 
operation a large hand coffee mill, and ground for himself and 
neighbors flour, meal and other articles. Having used up two 
coffee mills, he next procured a small burr millstone, and kept 
gradually improving his primitive enterprise until he launched 
out into a full-grow T n mill, with two run of stone, and a capacity 
of 120 bushels of wheat per day. The Belvidere mill finally took 
rank among the good mills of the county. 

A cozy log church was built by the German .Methodists near 
Gaylord 's mill in 1862, at a cost of $300. This society now has a 
large frame church. In 1865 the Catholics erected a good frame 
church in the southern part of the town. The Norwegian Luther- 
ans built a large church in the western part of the town in 1867. 


A German Lutheran church in the eastern part of the town was' 
built in 1872. Another Methodist church was also erected. 

The first town board appointed by the county board was as 
follows: Supervisors, Mason 0. Eggleston (chairman), William 
Thomas, G. D. Post ; town clerk. Hubert Eggleston ; assessor, 
B. F. Chase ; tax collector, J. S. Thompson ; justice of the peace, 
Marcus Eggleston ; constables, James Lane and George Gay. 

At a meeting held July 5, 1858, in the town of York, composed 
of township No. Ill north, of range 11 and 15, including what are 
now Belvidere and Goodhue, at the house of Peter Easterly, the 
following officers were elected: Supervisors, Cyrus Couch (chair- 
man), G. D. Post, Henry Danielson; town clerk. Oliver Knutson; 
assessor, B. F. Chase; justices, Peter Easterly, J. W. Finch; con- 
stables, James Lane, H. B. Patterson ; overseer of the poor, Nelson 
Gaylord ; collector, J. S. Thompson. January 21, 1859, the follow- 
ing named were appointed to fill vacancies: Supervisors, Syl- 
vester Cranson (chairman), Charles M. Lee, Ezra Bennett, town 
clerk, John Stowe ; justices, Hans H. Olson, F. Cranson. 

The first separate town meeting of the voters in township 11, 
range 14 (Belvidere), was held April 5, 1859, and the following 
officers elected: Supervisors, Horace AY. Twitchel (chairman), 
Marcus Eggleston, Mason 0. Eggleston; town clerk, Hubert 
Eggleston; assessor, G. D. Post; collector, J. S. Thompson; over- 
seer of the poor, Nelson B. Gaylord ; constables, Jacob Church, 
George Gay; justices, Marcus Eggleston, B. R. Prince. In the 
following list, the first named under each year is the chairman. 
1860 — Supervisors, Horace W. Twitchell, George Gaylord, Knut 
Knutson ; clerk, Hubert Eggleston ; assessor, Marcus Eggleston ; 
treasurer and overseer of the poor, N. B. Gaylord ; justices, Mar- 
cus Eggleston, B. R. Prince. 1861 — Supervisors, Horace "W. 
Twitchell, William Thomas, Mason Eggleston ; clerk, Reuben 
Ward ; assessor, Marcus Eggleston ; treasurer and overseer of the 
poor, Nelson B. Gaylord ; justices, Marcus Eggleston, Ben Prince. 
1862 — Supervisors, J. S. Thompson, George Stace, William 
Perly ; clerk, Halvor Knutson ; treasurer, H. W. Twitchel ; 
assessor, B. F. Chase; justices, Peter J. Hilden, Marcus Eggleston ; 
constables, John C. Johnson, Frank Lane. 1863 — Supervisors, 
J. S. Thompson, William Perly, George Gay ; clerk, Oliver Knut- 
son ; treasurer, H. W. Twitchel ; assessor, Marcus Eggleston ; over- 
seer of the poor, J. S. Thompson ; justice, Peter J. Hilden. 1864 — 
Supervisors, J. S. Thompson, 0. C. Roberts, Halvor Knutson ; 
clerk, Ruben Ward ; treasurer, H. W. Twitchel ; assessor, Julius 
Munger; constables, Caleb Reynolds, William Thomas; justices, 
G. H. Gaylord, P. J. Hilden. 1865 — Supervisors, J. S. Thompson, 
William Thomas, Daniel Mallan; clerk, Oliver, or Halvor, Knut- 
son ; assessor, George Stace ; treasurer, H. W. Twitchel ; justices, 


Marcus Egglestcm, Jolm Alley; constables, Ole Knutson, John 
Lueham. 1866- — Supervisors, J. S. Thompson, William Thomas, 
John Lueham; clerk, A. AY. Fountain; treasurer, H. W. Twitchel; 
assessor, S. R. Ward ; justices, Star Dennison, John Alley ; con- 
stables, B. R. Prince, J. S. Thompson. 1867 — Supervisors, M. 0. 
Eggleston (failed to qualify, and J. S. Thompson held over), 
William Thomas, Halvor Knutson; clerk, A. W. Fountain, treas- 
urer, C. C. Roberts; assessor, Star Dennison; justices of the peace, 
Marcus Eggleston, P. J. Hilden ; constables, R. AY. Dewore, J. C. 
Maybe. 1868 — Supervisors, John Alley, George Stace, E. North- 
field ; clerk, Stephen Roberts ; treasurer, C. C. Roberts ; justices, 
H. N. Eggleston, Edwin Bullard; assessor, Star Dennison; con- 
stable, Albert Pratt. 1869 — Supervisors, John Alley, Walter 
Brown. John C. Johnson ; clerk, Stephen Roberts ; treasurer, N. B. 
Gaylord; assessor, Star Dennison; justices, Star Dennison, H. N. 
Eggleston; constables, AYilliam Kinney, B. R. Prince. 1870 — All 
the old officers held over except John Alley, who resigned as 
chairman of the board of supervisors and was replaced by Mason 
O. Eggleston. 1871 — Supervisors, John Alley, Peter J. Hilden, 
Walter Brown; clerk, B. R. Prince; treasurer, X. B. Gaylord; 
assessor, H. N. Eggleston; justices, John Alley, B. R. Prince; 
constables, William Lane, William Kinney. 1872— Supervisors, 
John C. Johnson, J. S. Thompson, Stephen Redding; clerk, Peter 
J. Hilden; treasurer, C. C. Roberts; assessor, Walter Brown; jus- 
tices. Walter Brown, George Stace; constables, AYilliam Lane, 
S. Alageras. 1873— Supervisors. John C. Johnson. J. S. Thomp- 
son, S. Redding; clerk. T. J. Hilden: treasurer, X. B. Gaylord; 
assessor, George Stace; justices. George Stace, Walter Brown; 
constables, James Arden, E. Fountain. 1874— The same board 
was elected; Walter Brown did not qualify, and A. AY. Fountain 
was named as justice of the peace in his stead. 1875 — Super- 
visors, AYilliam Thomas, Perry George, Martin Johnson; clerk, 
T. J. Hilden; assessor, George Stace; treasurer, C. 0. Roberts; 
justice, John C. Johnson; constable, R. Alallan. 1876— Super- 
visors, AYilliam Thomas, Perry George, George Stace: clerk, Peter 
J. Hilden; treasurer, (\ C. Roberts; assessor, John ( '. Johnson; 
justice, Stephen Redding; constable, John Ma -eras. 1877 — 
Supervisors, Perry George. Alartin Johnson, John Shafer; clerk, 
T. J. Hilden; assessor, John C. Johnson; treasurer, N. B. Gaylord; 
justices. John C. Johnson, Peter Krall; constables. ('. A. J. Han- 
son, Hubert Alageras. 1878— Supervisors, Perry George, Stephen 
Redding, Olaus Johnson; clerk. P. J. Hilden: assessor 
(appointed), George Babbitt ; treasurer, X. B. Gaylord; justices, 
John C. Johnson, P. Krall; constables, C. A. -I. Hansen. S. 

During the Civil War Hie town raised bounties to the amount 


of $3,500 by private subscription, and a larger part of the adult 
male population enlisted. The following list of those who enlisted 
from this town during the war is larger than the official list, 
owing to the fact that some of them, though living in Belvidere, 
enlisted from other places. The list: Hubert Eggleston. AVilliam 
S. Kinney, John Arden, James Arden, Michael Corcoran, T. Eriek- 
son, John E. Olin, James X. Wood, Peter J. Lotty, F. Snidert, 
R. J. Daniels, Bent E. Olin. Benjamin Chase, B. R. Prince, "Walter 
Brown, William Parsons, John Alley, Cyrus Klingenschmidt, Ole 
Syverson, Timothy 'Regan, Timothy Houson, John AVayze, 
W. S. Williams, Svenom Hendrickson, A. C. Amundson, John 
Amundson, John C. Johnson. Jacob Wohlers, Peter J. Hilden. John 
Bomback, Fred Bomback, Joachim Hoist. Jacob Hoist, Claus 
Hoist, William Buckholst. N. B. Gaylord, George Gaylord, John 
Arden, Thomas Booth, Peter Swetchser, AVilliam Suchhaa,, Fred- 
erick Luchan. James T. Bowker, AVilliam Berley, Ole Nelson, John 
Nelson. AVatson Devore. Frank Lane, Peter AVagoner, Nicolaus 
Lippert, R. Kolby, Andrew Baker, Ammond Larson and Samuel 
Church. Some of these died in the army, and others returned, to 
become prominent citizens of the township. 

At one time there was a postoffice at Thoten. in this township. 


Burnside lies along the Mississippi river, with Red Wing on 
the east. Featherstone on the south and AVeleh on the west. It 
has undergone several changes of area since its organization; all 
of its territory in range 16 having been set off as Grant 'later 
Welch in L864. During the same year it was increased by the 
addition of sections 13 and 14. in township 113. range 15, pre- 
viously a part of Red Wine'. The surface is much broken by hill 
and valley, and there is a wide belt of bottomland and terraced 
flats along the Cannon river and the Mississippi, some of which is 
timbered. One of the most beautiful landscapes in the county 
is visable from the high point in sections 16. 17 and 18. The tim- 
bered region in sections 7, 8, 17 and 18 is one uniform flat sur- 
face of loam-covered drift. Burnside includes a large portion 
of an island, known as Prairie Island, on its "northern border. 
The soil of the township, notwithstanding the irregular surface, 
is for the most part", rich, deep and fertile. Cannon river Aoavs 
from west to east, and Spring creek through the southeastern 
part, both emptying into the Mississippi. Numerous spring's of 
clear water gush forth from the base of the bluffs, affording 
abundant water for stock and dairy purposes. 

In the early days the town was known as Spring Creek, but 
Union was the name given by the committee which, in 1858, had 


charge of designating the townships. This, at the request of the 
state authorities, was changed to Milton, by reason of the fact 
that there was another Union in the state. The same objection 
was urged against the name of Milton, and in 1862 the name 
became Burnside. the name of the general who at that time was 
winning fame in the early campaigns of the Civil War. 

In the fall of 1853 there came to this township a clergyman,. 
who looked over the land and decided upon a suitable location 
for a claim. Authorities differ as to whether this clergyman was 
the Rev. David Wright or the Rev. Resin Spates. At any rate, 
the three brothers, John. Resin and Charles Spates, settled here 
the following summer, and during the same year Andrew Cottar, 
John Leason, Matthew Streetor, James Shaw, John Bronson, and 
with the widow of the Rev. David Wright and her family. In 
1855 came John E. Eggleston, Joseph Eggleston, Willard Wood, 
Kingsley Wood, Rev. J. C. Johnson, Marshall Cutter, and prob- 
ably Leland Jones, Rev. Norris Hobart and several others. These 
settlers were scattered over the township, but in those early days 
were considered near neighbors. 

The wife of David Bronson died in the spring of 1855. In 
July of the same year Flora Cutter (or Cora Cutler) was born, 
also John H. Spates. The first marriage ceremony performed 
was that of J. P. Enz to Mary F. "Wright, in October, 1855. 
Another early marriage was that of William H. Wright and Mary 
Chamberlain, in 1859. the ceremony being performed by Justin 
Chamberlain, a justice of Hie peace. The first school in the town 
was taught by J. E. Eggleston. during the winter of 1756-57. The 
first sermon was preached by the Rev. Resin Spates at the house 
of John Leason, in 1854. 

The Rev. Hancock relates an interesting incident of the early 
days: "The widow of Rev. David Wright, with six children, had 
removed from Illinois and settled on the place that, previous to 
his death, her husband had selected on Spring creek, near where 
John Leason ^located his claim. They occupied a log house which 
was divided into suitable rooms for sleeping and family use; the 
four boys sleeping in the two rooms of the upper floor, while the 
two girls and the mother occupied the lower floor. They were 
comfortably arranged for the night of June 11. L855, when a 
storm of lightning and rain came on with such terrific peals of 
thunder as to awaken the family. One of the older boys was so 
much frightened that he left the bed and went downstairs. While 
he was being told that there was no more danger in one place 
than another by his sisler. Susan, a sudden crash came, which 
frightened everyone in the house. Mrs. Wright, the mother, was 
the first to regain consciousness. She saw the flames devouring 
the bed where lay her two daughters, still unconscious. Pres- 


ently the water came down through the floor above in such 
profusion as to quench the fire. Soon one of the boys came down- 
stairs drenched with rain, bringing in his arms the youngest boy, 
Wilson, dead. The same stroke of lightning had killed one of 
the girls, who were in the bed on the lower floor, immediately 
under that of the boys' in the chamber. The boys in time had 
become conscious, and these three — William, Beverly and 
James — with their mother, laid the boy, Wilson, by the side of 
his two sisters, Mary and Susan, and began chafing them, in order 
to restore them, if possible, to consciousness-. After some time, 
Mary, who later became Mrs. Enz, of Red Wing, was restored to 
health, but AVilson, aged six years, and Susan, a young lady of 
twenty-one years, had been instantly summoned to the world 
above during that terrible storm." 

In the month of June, 1856, a terrific storm of wind passed 
over the town, doing great damage to the growing crops and 
destroying buildings. One or two lives were lost. Matthew 
Streetor was at Justin Chamberlain-'s when the storm came up. 
Mrs. Chamberlain, seeing the storm approaching, ran to the 
cellar, and called to Streetor to follow her, but being old and 
feeble, he failed to reach safety, and was taken up with the house, 
being so badly injured that he died a day or two after. The 
same storm overtook Sheriff Chandler, who was on his way home 
with his horse and carriage, but seeing its approach, he sprang 
from the carriage and threw himself flat on the ground, and the 
storm passed over without doing him injury. After the tornado had 
passed Mr. Chandler looked for his horse, but could not find him. 
However, after diligent search in the direction the storm had 
taken, the horse and carriage was found about a mile from where 
he left them, lodged among the tops of some small trees. 

A flouring mill was built in the south part of the town, on 
Spring creek, by Stearns & Ilobart. in the year 1856. This mill 
was carried away by a freshet in June, the following year. It 
was rebuilt soon after by the Hon. W. W. Phelps, with three run 
of stone and a capacity for grinding 65,000 bushels annually. 
Mr. Phelps operated this mill with success for a time, and after- 
ward sold it to William Featherstone, who in turn sold it to 
M. Herschler. 

An early history says: "The first Methodist service held in 
the township was by the Rev. G. W. T. Wright, at the house of 
his mother, Mrs. Amelia Wright, in May, 1855. The persons that 
formed the class at that time were Resin Spates, Margaret 
Spates, Justin Chamberlain, Maria Chamberlain, John Leason, 
Mary Leason, Amelia Wright, Mary F. Wright, James A. Wright, 
William H. Wright, Beverly M. Wright. Samuel F. Hardy and 
Mary Hardy." 


At the first election, held in 1858, there were fifteen voters: 
John Thomas, Justin Chamberlain, J. G. Johnson, John Leason, 
B. H. Munroe, ' S. B. Harding, W. S. Grow, John Sterns, M. 
Streetor, Charles Spates, A. 0. Moore, J. Eggleston, Thomas 
Leason, William Thompson, Seth Barber and John Quinnell'. 
Among the early supervisors were W. S. Grow, Timothy Jewett, 
Leland Jones (four terms), J. G. Johnson, A. Coons, R. H. Knox, 
Q. Bunch (two terms), L. Jones. Among the early town clerks 
were J. G. Johnson, Leland Jones, Norris Hobart, S. Barber, T. J. 
Leason (two terms), Leland Jones (two terms), William H. Ben- 
nett, Leland Jones, John Leason, J. G. Johnson. 

The contribution of Burnside, including what is now Welch, 
to the Civil War was as follows : Joseph S. Abels, William 
Brown, Lewis Cannon, Harlan P. Eggleston, Ira Eggleston, John 
S. Hobart, Robert W. Leason, James A. Leason, Thomas J. 
Leason, John P. Leason, Charles B. Noble, Lewis Quinnell, 
Thomas Quinnell, John .Richards, James Shaw, Ira Tillotson, 
James A. Wright, William H. Wright, John Williams, Edward 
Coller, Nathaniel Brown, Augustus C. Baker, Dennis O'Loughlin 
and Orrin A. Phelps. 

To Rev. J. C. Johnson is accredited the following narrative : 
"I built a claim house, 16 x 20, in the town now called Burnside, 
commencing it in January, 1855, and moving into it in the follow- 
ing August. I found out that naked nature needed more clothing 
than a newborn child — first a hen-roost, then a pigsty, a stable, 
stock-yard, corn-yard, a forty-acre pasture, one hundred acres 
encircled with a wooden fence, breaking costing five dollars per 
acre ; school houses to be built, cemeteries laid out and enclosed, 
bridges everywhere to be built, highways surveyed and worked. 
The winter of 1855-56 was a rough one. As a member of the 
Minnesota Methodist Episcopal conference, I was trying to sup- 
ply the work of preaching at a point five miles above Hastings 
in the forenoon, at Hastings at 2 P. M., and at Ravenna, seven 
miles below, at 'candle light.' Late in the fall, one of the darkest 
and most stormy nights known to men, overtook me on the open 
prairie below Hastings. The only way to find the path and keep 
it was to feel it out with the feet. After a while a distant light 
appeared in view, and, thoroughly drenched, I soon found shelter 
in a small house occupied by two families. But the poor pony 
had no shelter and scant food. 

"One Monday morning of that winter, in trying to get home 
from my appointment, a blizzard commenced raging. Scarcely 
any travel on the road except one stage through. About forty 
degrees below zero of cold came on. The wife and two little 
children at home alone, neighbors few and far between, stem 
Necessity says, 'You must get home,' but that open, bleak prairie 


in the town of Welch, then unoccupied, was a precarious place 
for night to close in upon a wayfaring man with a dubious traek 
to follow. Yet, at about 9 o'clock in the evening, we were all 
made unusually glad that the storm had been weathered and the 
harbor safely reached. 

''In the summer of 1856 I raised two acres of wheat. Thirty 
miles away, at Northfield, there was a mill. With a one-horse 
load I reached it at sundown, to find the mill full of grists and the 
water too low to run on full time. The only chance was to 
exchange a few bushels of my wheat for flour, receiving thirty 
pounds for each bushel. The rest of my grist I brought back as 
far as Cannon Falls and left to be ground without bolting. 
Winter soon came on. and no roads opened on my route hither. 
I found my wheat, which was Lef1 there, the next spring, musty. 
My next milling was done at Kinnickinnic, eight miles beyond 
Prescott. Wis., a four days' journey, going around through 
Cannon Falls and Hastings. 

"The early settlers wanted church privileges. A meeting 
was held at the house of Mr. Moore, near Cannon river bridge, at 
Burnside. Moore had an awful poor house. He had also the 
inflammatory rheumatism. He lay flat on his back on the loose 
hoards of the only floor except bare ground. The people had 
broughl all I heir youny d<><rs to the meeting. In the midst of the 
services the dogs became unseemly unceremonious. Moore evi- 
dently fell his responsibility for better order, and, rising with 
difficulty, in apparenl wrath, he took his own dog by the neck, 
dragged him to the door. and. with a loss and a kick, sent him 
yelping out. At thai all the dogs rushed ou1 in sympathy, and 
the man took his lowly place again. All reverence and devotion 
fled, and appointment was not renewed at that place. 

"We had frequenl visits from the Sioux Indians, who often 

killed deer in the neighbor! d. On one occasion three of these 

animals were shot by an Indian without moving from his secluded 
position. This occurred near where T. J. Bryan's house now 
stands. Our women, although alone generally through the day, 
were not disturbed in those early days by the visits of the 

The poorfarm, an institution of which the county has reason 
to be proud, is located in this township, under the charge of a 
superintendent appointed by the county commissioners. The 
farm is about three miles from Red Wing on the road to Hastings, 
and contains 183 acres of land. The buildings were erected in 
1867 at a cost of about $6,000. The furnace, heating system and 
furniture cost about $1,000. The main building was accidentally 
destroyed by fire in the fall of 1889, and soon after rebuilt. At 
this farm the worthy poor of the county, mostly the very aged 


and a few young children, are given shelter and food, care and 
attention, as wards of the county. 

On Prairie Island there are located a number of Indians. 
They have a small church of the Episcopal denomination, and 
have, in a measure, learned the arts of civilization. 

Eggleston, a small village, is located on the edge of this town- 


Cherry Grove is one of the southern tier of townships in the 
county. It is bounded on the north by Wanamingo, on the west 
by Kenyon, on the south by Dodge county, and on the east by 
Roscoe. One complete government township, No. 109, range 17, 
constitutes its area, which has remained unchanged since the 
township act of 1858. Its surface is that of a high prairie, with 
low, broad, undulations of surface. The drainage is toward the 
north and south, from the elevated central portion. A branch of 
the Zumbro winds through the southern portion of the township, 
and along its valley are some wooded portions, although for the 
most part the township is under cultivation. The soil is excellent 
for agricultural purposes, and a specialty is made of dairy farm- 
ing in that vicinity, the residents being a progressive set of peo- 
ple, who have adopted all the latest methods in agricultural 

The territory comprised in the township remained practically 
an unbroken wilderness until 1854, when, in the spring of that 
year. Madison Brown located a claim on section 31. In the fall 
of the following year, however, he sold his claim to Silas Mer- 
rinian. and went to Iowa. Of his subsequent career nothing is to 
be learned, although it is supposed that he was hilled in the 
Civil War. In the fall of 1851. Reading and Benjamin AYoodward 
selected claims adjoining that of Brown. Benjamin soon after 
went to Iowa, where he died, while Reading remained as a perma- 
nent settler. In the following year came Silas Merriman, already 
mentioned, Samuel and William Shields, Joseph Seymour, Wilson 
Kelsey, Thomas Haggard, and John and Charles Lent. In the 
spring following came E. 0. Comstock, Israel T. and Taft Corn- 
stock. Samuel Winston, John Nichols, J. A. Ray and others. It 
will be noted that the majority of the settlers were eastern 
people, and a number of their descendants still maintain the New 
England and New York traditions of their ancestors. These 
settlers, in the earliest days, were made the subject of consider- 
able annoyance. Marauding bands of ruffians created acute 
apprehension, and the choicest claims were constantly being 
jumped. In the winter of 1855-56 a claim meeting was called 
and an organization effected for the protection of the settlers. 


T. B. Haggard was appointed captain. This force was soon after 
called together to protect the settlers, which they did so effect- 
ively that thereafter the residents were allowed to pursue their 
various callings in peace. The setlement in the northern part 
of the township was started in 1856, when Darius Johnson made 
a claim on section 6. He was followed hy Payington Root, and 
soon after by many others, mostly pioneers from Norway. 

In 1857 a village was platted in the southern part of the town 
and called Fairpoint. The proprietors were Thomas Haggard 
and a man named Beekwith. In 1863 several buildings were 
erected in this village. A postoffice was established there in 
1S58. Silas Merriam was the postmaster. Owing to the small 
amount of mail received, this office was discontinued in 1861. 
Some years later it was re-established and Herman Eastman 
named as postmaster. In 1867 Herman Eastman and E. B. 
Jewitt opened a store in the village, and a year later David 
Haggard was appointed postmaster. 

A log cabin schoolhouse was built in 1857, at the edge of a 
cherry grove in the central part of the township, and the first 
school session was taught by E. G. Comstock that winter. In 
1861 a stone schoolhouse was erected on the site of this old log 
structure. The first church organization was effected in 1856, 
when the Christian Disciples met at the home of James Haggard 
and listened to a sermon by David Haggard. The first service 
by a regularly ordained clergyman was by the Rev. J. M. Gates 
at his own residence in the spring of 1857. The first marriage 
in the township was between Elizabeth, daughter of T. B. Hag- 
gard, and John Hart, in August, 1857. The first death was that 
of Fliza Jane, daughter of T. B. Haggard, December 16, 1857. 
The first town meeting was held May 11, 1858. at which time 
officers were elected as follows : Supervisors, Benjamin "Wood- 
ward (chairman), Cyrus H. Burt and David Simpson ; town clerk, 
E. G. Comstock ; assessor, Francis A. Crebb ; constables, James 
Haggard and Peter Stagle; justices of the peace, John Haggard 
and F. A. Crebb ; road overseers, Israel T. Comstock and Reading 
Woodward. James Haggard was appointed collector in May, 
1858. There being a tie vote, no supervisor of the poor was 

The official list of the men who enlisted from this township 
during the Civil War is as follows : F. H. Bullock, William 
Catlin, Jr., Ryal Catlin, Alva K. Eastman, Edward Hudson, Jesse 
T. Hamlin, Rufus Hart, Mc. D. Willoughby, Orville Ames, Dan- 
forth W. Cook, Theodorick Drum, William Forsyth, Thomas E. 
Gillett, Thomas B. Haggard. George Hanlden, Simeon Steemer r 
Uriah Hopkins, Francis E. Presley, Jonathan Dibble, Alvin Davis. 
Abram Doner. Hans Jordt, Ferris Johnson, Charles C. Lent, 


Henry Nesson, Henry O'Kane, Hiram E. Perkins, William 
Perkins, Herman A. Perkins, Leander Root, Captain A. N. See, 
Daniel C. Smith. Clymen Sherwood, Terence Thompson, Terence 
Thompson 2nd, Lyman T. Ward, William F. Ward, John Wood- 
bury. B. C. Wait, James Haggard, James Holloran, Hiram Leach, 
Washington Roster. Frederick Robohm, G. H. Mayheigh, Benton 
Merse, James Scurry, Isaac Wilmer, Martin AVhalton, Henry 
Kuhns, Christ Phillips, Peter L. Slagle, Charles D. Ward, Her- 
bert Drake, John Lloyd, Charles Lloyd, Davis Johnson, Alexander 
McKinley, Lyman Sackett, Stephen Van Gilder, William William- 
son, Card Bnrfrind, A. C. Bennett, Nelson Gaylord, Charles Hick- 
man, George Johnson, Gottlieb Persig, Orville Rogers, James E. 
Smith, A. D. Thayer, Thomas Thompson, Frederick Walters, 
Frank Yager. 

Cherry Grove has four large and commodious churches — -one 
Catholic, one German Lutheran and one Norwegian Lutheran. 
There have been postoffices at Ayr, Fairpoint and Spring Creek. 


Central Point, the most easterly as well as the smallest of 
Goodhue county townships, lies in a bend in Lake Pepin directly 
above Lake City. It contains one complete section and several 
fractional ones and is bounded on the north and east by the lake, 
south by Lake City in Wabasha county, and west by Florence. 
Its surface is broken. An isolated bluff rises in the eastern part, 
and its peculiar shape has won the name of Sugar Loaf. A point 
of land extending some distance into the lake about midway 
between the head and foot of same gives the town its name. 

By reason of its excellent landing place and its position 
midway in the lake, there were many early dreams of its future 
greatness as a shipping point. Charles Gould settled near here 
in about 1850. In 1853 a Mr. Gridley made a claim to some land. 
He was followed by R, L. Phillips, H. L. Barrett and Hannibal 
Bonnell. Soon quite a flourishing neighborhood gathered about 
the landing, and in 1855 a village plat was surveyed and specu- 
lation in village lots for a time became quite lively.- Silas Crop 
built a store and stocked it with general merchandise. Mr. 
Feary built a hotel, which was opened by E. S. Harrison. A 
postoffice was established and Perry D. Martin was appointed 
postmaster. In 1856 C. W. and E. Hackett built another store, 
which was also filled with general merchandise. Charles Moe 
built a steam sawmill and commenced the manufacture of lumber. 
At this time Central Point" was the only steamboat lauding in 
the vicinity, and for a period it seemed designed to become a 
lumbering center, where would bo sawed the logs floated down 


the lake in rafts from points on the Mississippi and the St. Croix. 
But it was soon found that Lake City afforded a much better 
landing, and as a result business -was drawn away from Central 
Point and toward Lake City. However, in 1857 Lewis & Scott 
built another sawmill, which was conducted for a time by Frank 
Sterrit and afterward bought and conducted by S. S. and G. H. 
Grannis. The manufacture of sorghum syrup in later years 
became an important industry. The first school was taught in 
1858. In 1873 a very fine and commodious school building was 
erected. The first house built in the town was a log cabin con- 
structed by H. L. Barrett. In this house the Rev. M. Sorin con- 
ducted the first religious service held in the township. The first 
death was that of an infant child of C. AY. Hackett. in 1856. 
Of the first marriage no record has been left. It is also impos- 
sible to learn of the first town officers, as the early records were 
destroyed by mice sonic years ago. before any transcription was 
made of the important fads. 

The contribution from Central Point to the ranks of the 
L T nion army would seem almost impossible were it not a matter 
of official record. According to these records, no less than 
twenty-one men enlisted from this town. They were: Wesley 
F. Bailey. Dexter Chacldock, James AY. Delong, AYallaee AY. 
Delong. John R. Graham, Ambrose Gardiner, John Gardiner, 
George Harrison. Edward B. Hawkins, Marcus Hills. Baker Har- 
rison, Clarence Hubbard, Charles Lathan, Adjutant Perry D. 
Martin, Levi M. Phillips, John L. Rice, Charles H. Sibley, 
George Weaver, George S. Harrison, John S. Harrison and Co- 
lumbus Phillips. 

John G. AYooley, the famous temperance orator, started a 
home for drunkards in 1891, and several substantial buildings 
were erected, but the enterprise was afterward abandoned. 



First Settlement— Platting the Village— Village and City Incor- 
porated—Water Power and Mills— Fraternities— Hotels- 
Newspaper— Modern Cannon Falls— Industries— Business 
Houses— Schools— Commercial Club— Banks— Cannon Falls 
Township — Early History — Veterans of the War. 

Cannon Falls, now a city, has a historic past and a promising- 
future, together with a prosperous present. Its early history is 
closely associated with that of Red Wing, the names of Sweney, 
Colvill, McGinnis and Freeborn being prominent in both places. 
The following article has been prepared with the assistance of 
John C. Applegate, editor of the Cannon Falls "Beacon," who 
has edited the early history and written the story of the modern 
growth and development of the city and its various interests. 

In 1855 William Freeborn built a log cabin on the east bank 
of the Little Cannon river, near the falls, on mill block No. 3. 
This was the beginning of the present prosperous city of Cannon 
Falls. Richard Elton built the first store the same year, on block 
36, and Eli Ellsworth, the first merchant, kept his goods in that 
building. The first physician was J. E. Tibbitts, the first lawyer 
was R. AY. Hamilton, and the first resident minister of the gospel 
was Rev. J. R. Barnes. 

Where a portion of the city now stands, James McGinn-is pre- 
empted lots 1, 2, 5 and 6, section 18, in November, 1854. March, 
1855, Warren Hunt took a claim, northeast quarter of section 18, 
adjoining McGinnis on the east. The same spring Richard Free- 
born, Jr., pre-empted lots 3 and 4, section 18, west of the Mc- 
Ginnis claim. In May, 1855, William Colvill pre-empted lots 7, 
8 and 9, section 18. south of the McGinnis claim. Benjamin St. 
Clair took lots 7, 8 and 12, section 7, north of the McGinnis 
claim, the same spring. June, 1855, William P. Scofield pre- 
empted lots 9, 10 and 11, section 7, northwest from the McGinnis 
claim. The same month, Hugh Montgomery took the southeast 
quarter of section 18, east of the McGinnis claim. June 1855, 
Frank Clark entered lots 10 and 11, section IS, south of the 



Colvill claim. William B. Barton pre-empted the southeast quar- 
ter of section 7. northeast of the McGinnis claim in the fall of 

The village proper was laid out August 27, 1855, by Richard 
and William Freeborn, on section 18, including a portion of the 
claims of McGinnis. Kichard Freeborn and William Colvill. It 
was surveyed and platted by S. A. Hart, county surveyor. About 
October 16, 1856, the Cannon Falls city addition was platted. 
This included all the Hunt and Barton claims. The Cannon Falls 
central addition was made December 13, 1856, including a part 
of the Richard Freeborn claim. Point Lookout addition was 
made in the fall of 1856 and included a part of the Montgomery 
claim. Cannon Falls Company's addition was made May 18, 
1858, and included a part of the William P. Scofield claim. St. 
( 'harles Terre Haute addition was made soon after, including a 
part of the St. (lair claim. Ellsworth and Tanner's addition 
followed immediately and included a part of the Scofield claim. 

The village was incorporated March 10, 1857. The first elec- 
tion was held the first Wednesday in May, 1857. The first officers 
elected under the charter were: Charles Parks, president; Will- 
iam Tanner, recorder; J. E. Chapman, Thomas Baker and George 
MeKenzie, councilmen. Charles Parks built a log hotel, sixteen 
by twenty-four, in the fall of 1854. which was named the Falls 
House. This was sold in April, 1855, to Andrew Durand, who 
built an addition of the same dimensions and kept the house for 
1 hree years. 

The village of Cannon Falls was reincorporated as a city in 
February, 1905. with a population of 1,460. The present officers 
are: Mayor, F. B. Seager; aldermen, John Kilroy, 0. H. Doebler, 
George V. Williams, E. J. Holmes and G. A. Widholm. 

The water power furnished in such abundant measure by the 
falls in the river at this point, naturally attracted those who had 
money to invest in mills in the early days. The water power is 
still abundant, and has never been utilized to its full capacity. 
The great falls are on the main river a little west of the village, 
having in the distance of a few rods a perpendicular descent of 
about twenty feet. The falls on the Little Cannon, where the 
stone mill stands, are twenty-five feet. Another fall, just below 
the junction, is fifteen feet. 

At this fall the first flouring mill in the township was built 
by R. C. Knox, in 1867, the exact location being block 51, in 
Cannon Falls city addition. It was a frame structure, forty-five 
by fifty, containing four run of stone. The entire building, when 
completed, cost $14,000, with a capacity of 100,000 bushels of 
wheat per annum. It was carried away by the flood of June. 
1867, and during that same year was rebuilt by Mrs. Cornelia 


Grosvener. The re-erected building was fifty by sixty, four sto- 
ries, and contained eight run of stone, five for wheat and three 
for middlings. 

The Little Cannon mill is a stone structure, two stories above 
the basement, fifty by seventy, built in 1857. It was not used 
until 1861. when machinery for the manufacture of woolen goods 
was put in. It was operated as a woolen mill until 1875, when 
it was converted into a grist mill, with four rim of stone for 
wheat and two for feed. This was known for years as the Thomp- 
son mill. It is now the New Cannon Plansifter mill. 

The Goodhue Mills are situated on the Big Cannon, about a 
half a mile above its junction with the Little Cannon. The dam 
gives a fall of fifteen feet and with an abundant supply of water 
at all seasons of the year. It is one of the finest water powers 
in the locality. The machinery is propelled by five water wheels 
— one American of ninety horsepower, and four Eclipse wheels 
of forty horsepower each. It has all the latest improvements 
and appliances in the way of machinery and fixtures for produc- 
ing the finest quality of flour. It is a frame structure forty-five 
by sixty, four stories high. The mill was erected in 1872 by 
Gardner & Moore, and cost $22,000. Its water power cost $8,000 
extra. The brands manufactured are the Climax, Mona, Tele- 
phone and Paragon. The company took first premium at the 
Centennial of 1876. at Philadelphia. The river is spanned by a 
sleel arch bridge, the dam is twelve feet high, and a new one is 
L'9w proposed. 

From the earliest days the fraternal spirit in the village has 
been strong, and the various societies have contributed in no 
small degree to the educational and charitable as well as social 
progress of the community. 

Oriental Lodge No. 31, A. F. and A. M., was organized June 
26, 1860, and worked under a dispensation until October 24, 
1860, at which time a charter was received. In 1861 the lodge 
purchased two lots on the north side of the Little Cannon river 
and fitted up a lodge room. The charter members were Joseph 
E. Chapman, John L. Armington, Stephen N. Carey, William H. 
Mosier, Samuel Finney and Ralph Tanner. The first officers were : 
John L. Armington, M. W. ; Joseph E. Chapman, S. W. ; Stephen 
N. Carey, J. W. ; William H. Mosier. treasurer ; Samuel Finney, 

Alleghany Lodge, No. 33, I. O. O. F., was organized January 
:i 1872. by M. E. Henderson. J. W. Newell, George McKenzie, 
J. W. Neff and E. L. Clark. At the time of organization there 
were thirteen initiations. The first officers were : M. E. Hender- 
son, N. G.; J. W. Newell, V. G. : E. L. Clark, secretary; <i. W. 
Neff. treasurer. 


Valley Encampment, No. 11, was organized April 3, 1873, by 
M. E. Henderson, Lyman K. Ayrault, AVarren Gilchrist, George 
Manning, G. W. Xeff, E. L. Clark and L. AYhite. At the first 
meeting there were five initiations. The first officers were : M. 
E. Henderson, C. P.; Lyman K. Ayrault, H. P.; George Man- 
ning, S. W.; Orrin Gilchrist, J. AY.; E. L. Clark, scribe; G. AY. 
Xeff. treasurer. 

Mutual Lodge, No. 40, A. 0. U. W., was organized January 
30, 1878. The charter members were S. Higman, G. A. Follet, 
G. H. Cross, H. Hanson, AYilliam Smith, H. H. Manning, Myron 
D. Gibbs, 0. T. Jones, AY. H. Seofield. ('. E. Daniels, J. L. Sco- 
field, E. Holden and A. L. Cawley. 

Cannon Falls Lodge, No. 253, P. of H., had a number of mem- 
bers during the time of the popularity of the Grange. 

Prairie Flower Lodge, No. 169, I. 0. G. T., was organized in 
the interests of temperance, March 2. 1875, with fifteen charter 
members. The first officers were M. McKay, Ida Mallett, Adelia 
Stranahan and Hattie Copeland. 

The Ben Socs Scandinavian Benevolent Society was organized 
August 9, ]>>!'!. witli seventeen charter members. The officers 
were G. AVestman. president; Haagen Thompson, vice president: 
L. Engbei'g. secretary; John Mattson. treasurer; John Danielson, 
('. G. Rydell and P. Flygare, trustees. 

Other societies which have been organized in the city are 
McKinley Post, No. 92, G. A. R. ; Cannon Camp, No. 1540, M. W. 
of A.; Zion Chapter, No. 6, 0. E. S.; Crescent Camp, No. 950, R. 
N. A. ; Cannon Falls Council, No. 82, Samaritans ; Beneficent De- 
gree, Samaritans; George McKinley Corps, No. 80, W. R. C, and 
Harmony Camp, No. 48, W. 0. W. 

The "taverns" of a village always have an important part 
in its progress, more especially in pioneer days. The two earliest 
hotels were the Falls House and the Exchange House. 

The Falls House was built by Charles Parks in the fall of 
1854. At that time it was a log house sixteen by twenty-four. 
The house was sold to Andras Durand in April, 1855, who at 
once built an addition as large as the original structure. In the 
fall of 1856 a building, thirty by forty, two stories, was erected. 
In the spring of 185*8 it was sold to Edward J. Turner, who 
rented it to Benjamin A r an Campen for ten years. Subsequent 
proprietors were Colonel Williams, Sole Slosson, John English 
and- others. September 18, 1871. D. L. Davis took charge of the 
property, lie having purchased it sometime previous, September 
19. 1866. In the fall of 1873 Mr. Davis sold it to Peter Gravlin, 
who kept the house until 1875. when Mr. Davis again came into 
possession. Air. Davis refitted the building, and in the spring of 
1872 made an addition, fourteen by twenty-two feet. In 1890 


this property came into the hands of Henry Thompson, who re- 
built the main pari of stone and greatly improved it. 

The Exchange House was built in the fall of 1866 by Peter 
Gravlin and Christopher Benway. Benway sold his share the 
following spring to Charles Brown, and the house was run by 
Gravlin and Brown as the "New England" house. They sold 
out to John Williams in JS74. and he in turn to Helstrum and 
Riddell. David Piatt bought it in June L875, and gave it the 
name of i'latt House. 

The Cannon Falls "Beacon" is the outgrowth of the Cannon 
Falls "Gazette." The "Gazette" was started by R. M. Hamline 
in July, 1856. After fifteen months it was purchased by Mr. 
Hatch, who after a year sold it to the Hoag Bros. The Hoag 
Bros, changed the name to Cannon Falls "Bulletin." A year 
later the paper was removed to Northfield. Cannon Falls was 
without a paper until June, 1874, when .Ah'. Bromwick started 
the "Echo." This paper lived a year. August 4, 1876, John 
A. Leonard started the Cannon Falls "Beacon," and continued 
it until July 6, 1877, when he sold out to O. T. Jones and C. A. 
Cook. April 5, 1878. Mr. Jones purchased his partner's inter- 
ests, and on May 27, 1878, sold a half interest to L. C. McKenney. 
In May, 1880, S. S. Lewis bought an interest with Jones, Mr. 
McKenney having retired. Mr. Lewis conducted the "Beacon" 
till the summer of 1901, when he sold it to Joe Brynildsen, who, 
in December, 1903, sold it to the present publisher, John C. Apple- 
gate. The "Beacon" is Republican in politics and occupies a 
prominent place in the state press. 

Cannon Falls has probably never been more prosperous than 
at present. All of its industries are in operation and all labor 
employed at good wages, and the outlook for its continued pros- 
perity is most nattering. Notwithstanding the many new houses 
built in the city of late years, there are no vacant houses, and 
one of the pressing needs is a number of dwelling houses at mod- 
erate rental. The city is replacing the old wood and iron bridge 
across the Big Cannon at Third street with a new steel and con- 
crete structure at a cost of $10,000. 

The extension of the water system to residence streets h as- 
encouraged the home-making spirit, and a general tidying up and 
beautifying of home places has resulted. The si reels in resident 
portions have been narrowed and bordered by boulevards and 
grass plots. There are practically no wooden sidewalks in the 
city, they having been replaced by modern cement walks, while 
cement street crossings are replacing the old ilagstone. 

The principal enterprises of Cannon Falls are as follows: 
Hardware— H. A. Van Campen is the oldest dealer in implements 
and vehicles in the city, having been agent for the McCormick 


harvesting machinery for a third of a century. 0. P. Peters is 
another old dealer in this class of goods, having purchased the 
hardware business from D. E. Yale nearly twenty-five years ago. 
Ritchie & Lee as a firm is comparatively new, though John 
Ritchie, of the firm, has been engaged in the implement and 
vehicle trade for a number of years. Blacksmithing — John J. 
Anderson, blacksmithing and machine shop ; W. A. Fans, black- 
smithing and horse-shoeing and general repair work; Roy Dan- 
iels, in Ritchie's old stand on Fourth street, is an up-to-date 
mechanic, and does good work in horse shoeing and general 
blacksmithing. Barbers — Frank A. Barlow, John Lynn. Bazaar 
- — Five and ten cent store, Skog Bros., proprietors. Canning in- 
dustry — The Cannon Valley Canning Company, canners of sweet 
corn; president, E. B. Seager; secretary, S. Kraft; superintend- 
ent. F. A. Agnew; organized in the spring of 190L Creamery— 
* Wastedo Creamery Company ; manager, F. S. Stone. This con- 
cern came to Cannon Falls from Wastedo two years ago and has 
built up a successful business. Cheese — Cannon Falls Co-opera- 
tive cheese factory; George I. Valentine, president; does a flour- 
ishing business and its product ranks with the best in the state. 
Clothing— Regent Clothing House. John A. Ohnstad, proprietor, 
carries a full line of clothing and gentlemen's furnishings. Dry 
goods — The Cannon Falls Dry Goods Company; J. L. Erickson, 
president; F. C. Carlson, manager, is the largest store of its kind 
outside the county seat, handling a very large and complete line 
of dry goods, shoes and groceries. Meger & Johns have done 
business in Cannon Falls for nearly twenty years and carry a 
large and well selected line of dry goods and clothing. Harry 
Freeman, general dry goods and furnishings. Drug stores — Sco- 
field Bros., James L. and F. AY. Scofield. This is the oldest drug 
house in the county and has done a successful business in drugs, 
wall paper and jewelry, for forty-one years. George V. Williams 
earries a full line of drugs, wall paper, jewelry and fancy articles, 
and is doing a good business. Dray line — City dray, Emil, pro- 
prietor. Dentists— Lewis L. Conley, D. D. S. ; 0. E. Doety, D. D. 
S. Elevators — Cannon Falls Farmers' Elevator Company; F. I. 
Holmson, president; Nels Mattson, secretary; F. R. Anderson, 
manager, is a vigorous institution of great value to the local 
market. Charles M. Most, grain elevators, Jonas W. Holmes, 
manager. Express — Wells Fargo Express Company, A. L. Clif- 
ford, agent. Electric service— Cannon Falls Electric Service Com- 
pany, L. F. Blinco, superintendent, has a very complete and 
modern plant and gives first-class service. Furniture— C. Daniel- 
son Furniture Company, Charles Danielson, manager, is an up- 
to-date concern carrying a large stock and doing a large business. 
Has branches at Goodhue and Zumbrota. Fur factory— C. 0. 
Bye, proprietor of the old reliable tannery and fur factory, situ- 


ated on the north side, is well equipped and does a prosperous 
business. Groceries — Cannon Falls dry goods and city grocery; 
Magnus Olson, proprietor; Frank A. Lundberg, manager. Falck 
Bros.. Ole E. Falck and John E. Falck; established 1894. Lund- 
quist's grocery and feed store, Charles 0. Lundquist. proprietor. 
Westman's grocery, C. J. AYestman, proprietor. North Star 
grocery ; N. C. Olson, proprietor ; Carl Olson, manager ; estab- 
lished 1886. Hardware — O. F. Peters carries a full line of 
builders ' hardware, cutlery, stoves, household utensils, agricul- 
tural implements and vehicles, and does a large business. J. H. 
Carlson Hardware Company, John H. Carlson, manager. This 
firm carries a complete line of hardware and house furnishings 
and is building up a large and paying business. Harness — Hjal- 
raar Olson succeeded to the business of J. A. Ekloff some years 
ago and has built up a prosperous business in this line. Frank 
Schurch is one of the oldest dealers in harness and horse sup- 
plies in the county and is doing a prosperous business. Hotels 
— The Falls House, a commercial hotel, William C. Carroll, pro- 
prietor; the Piatt House, Willis H. Piatt, proprietor. Ice — Tan- 
ner & Seager Ice ; also proprietors of the Cannon Falls Nursery. 
Jewelry — Scofield Bros.. Caspar AValfahot, manager; George V. 
Williams, John Seagren, manager; Albert Lagerstrom. Livery — 
Riverside livery, Frank B. Lucking, proprietor; City livery, Reis- 
ner & Sehickling. Lumber — Ballard Trimble Lumber Company, 
F. R. Hall, manager; North Star Lumber Company, E. E. Lee, 
manager. Lawyers — Peter S. Aslakson, Charles P. Hall, Thor 
R. Johnson, AVillis W. AVoodruff, George E\ Wilson. Lands— 
Emil J. Holmes, lands and city property. Monuments — Lars C. 
Lockrem. Aleat markets — Bremer Bros., George Bremer, Fred 
Bremer, established 1892: Dibble Bros., Richard Dibble and Dan 
S. Dibble, established 1889. Alillinery— Airs. Carrie Tanner, Airs. 
Gertrude Ohnstad. ALUs— Goodhue mill, operated by the Can- 
non Valley Milling Company, a Alinneapolis concern; .lames C. 
Boynton, local manager. Cannon Falls Milling Company, T. L. 
Beiseter, president. New Cannon Plansifter ALU, Paul AV. Rothe, 
manager. This is the old stone mill on the Little Cannon, for 
many years known as the Thompson mill. Air. Rothe is very suc- 
cessful in its management. Newspapers — The "Beacon," John 
C. Applegate, proprietor ; founded in 1876. The ' ' Beacon ' ' under 
its present management was the leader in the movement for 
railroad regulation in the state, and was recognized throughout 
the northwest as an authority on the railroad question. The re- 
sult of this movement was radical reforms in transportation 
methods, and reductions in freight and passenger charges, sav 
ing millions every year to the business and farming interest of 
the state. The "Ledger," a weekly, published by S. S. Lewis. 


Postoffice — Peter A. Peterson, postmaster; Ella M. Johnson, 
assistant postmaster ; Hader F. AValander, clerk. Rural carriers : 
John A. Anderson, August M. Johnston, Oscar E. Olson, Harry 
F. Hinc John A. Lundberg, John A. Johnson, Alfred G. Swanson 
and Edwin Larson. Shoes — Andrew J. Hagg has been selling 
boots and shoes to the people of Cannon Falls and vicinity for 
thirty-two years, and success has rewarded his industry and 
honorable business methods. Samuel Kraft, business established 
1888; carries a very complete line of shoes and gentlemen's fur- 
nishing goods. Sorghum mill — Carlson & AVohlander, located on 
west side, a new and modern mill. Telephone exchange — Cannon 
Falls Telephone Company, established 1901. President, Charles 
L. Scofield; secretary. J. L. Scofield; treasurer, F. W. Scofield, 
who is also manage]-. Has northwestern long distance connec- 
tion and a local and rural service of 1,200 subscribers. Tailors 
— Johnson & Swanson: John Johnson. .John Swanson. These two 
men have been in business together in this city for thirty-five 
years and enjoy a well earned reputation for good workmanship. 
Charles G. AVahlberg. a first class workman in Ids line. Veteri- 
narian Albert .1. O'Hara, A'. S. Well drillers — Hartrey Bros., 
James Hartrey and Edward Hartrey. Martin Holland. Physi- 
cians—A. T. Conley, M. D. ; II. E. Conley, M. D. ; Peter H. Cromer, 
M. 1).: Martin L. Golberg, M. I).; A. P. Woodward. Photog- 
raphers — The Clifford Studio. Paul Engstrom, artist and manager. 
Restaurants — Johnston & Lorenson, J. Sigfrid Johnson and J. 
Edwin Lorenson. Henry -I. Kulker. Railroads — Chicago, Mil- 
waukee cA SI. Paul, Frank P. Murphy, agent; Chicago Great 
Western. Charles B. Tompkins, agent. 

Public Schools. Board of education: C. AV. Cress, presi- 
dent: P. S. Aslakson. secretary since 1890; P. N. Allen, treasurer; 
Dr. A. T. Conley. F. R. Johnson. S. K. Kraft. Faculty: S. M. 
Pinney. superintendent: Emma Williamson, principal of high 
school; Thomas S. Armstrong, science and manual training; Lu- 
cre! ia L. Lewis, assistant principal of high school; Agnes Swan- 
son. eighth grade: Lillian Lindstrom, seventh grade; Jennie Sea- 
son, sixth grade; Hattie Helmbrecht, fifth grade; Ida Anderson, 
fourth grade; Alice Richardson, third grade; Anna Helmbrecht, 
primary; Stella A. Reely. music and assistant in high school. 
Enrollment: High school, 87; grades, 284; total. 371. The school 
building is a handsome stone structure of modern build, well 
arranged, steam heated, well ventilated and erpiipped with 
library, laboratory and manual training department. 

The Cannon Falls Commercial Club has been a moving force 
in the city since its organization some eight years ago. Its offi- 
. cers are: President, F. B. Seager; secretary, C. P. Hall. 

The Citizens' State Bank, of Cannon Falls, was organized in 


1878, as the First National Bank of Cannon Falls, the incorpora- 
tors being L. S. Follett and Stephen Gardner, of Hastings. In 
1881 the name was changed to Citizens' Bank of Cannon Falls, 
L. S. Follett, banker. In 1886 Mr. Follett sold the bank to Hiram 
A. Seriver. In 1893, C. "W. Gress, of Northfield, purchased an 
interest with Mr. Seriver; and the firm became the Citizens' Bank 
of Cannon Falls — Seriver & Gress, bankers. In 1905 the busi- 
ness was incorporated as the Citizens' State Bank of Cannon 
Falls, Hiram A. Seriver, president ; Cliff W. Gress, cashier. Pres- 
ent condition: Capital. $30,000; surplus, $30,000; deposits, 
$547,792; cash on hand $109,000. 

The Farmers ' and Merchants ' National Bank, of Cannon Falls, 
was organized June, 1903. Its officers are: President, T. L. 
Baiseker ; vice president, J. L. Eriekson ; second vice president, 
Henry Thompson ; cashier, Edward Mattson ; assistant cashier, 
M. N. Gergen ; teller. F. O. Freeberg. Capital stock paid in, 
$25,000; surplus fund, $3,000; assets, $280,000. 

Cannon Falls Township received its name from the Big Can- 
non river, and its branch, the Little Cannon, whose sudden change 
of level forms a falls in the western part of the township, at the 
point where the city of Cannon Falls is now located. The Big 
Cannon Hows through the northern part of the township, from 
west to east, and its valley is marked by many changes in topog- 
raphy. The outer bluffs of the river are frequently more than a 
mile apart and over two hundred feet above the water in the 
river. In this valley are broad terraces and beautiful farms, 
and in addition to this the township has considerable timber. 
Along some of the valleys there is a sandy lightness to the soil, 
which has the effect of making the roads rather poor at some 
seasons of the year. For agricultural purposes, however, the 
soil is excellent and large crops are raised, although dairying is 
an important industry. The river bottom, from one-half to a 
mile in width, has a gravelly soil. 

It is probable that Dr. AY. W. Sweney and Richard and Will- 
iam Freeborn, who made the trip afoot from Peel Wing, were 
the first white men to behold the falls. The first settler was 
Edway Stoughton, who came early in 1854. Others were Charles 
Parks, who settled at the falls, and James H. Payton and James 
McGinnis. Mrs: Charles Parks was the first while woman at 
the Falls. 

The first death in the township was in August. 1855, when 
an infant son of David McKune passed to the Greal Beyond. 
The first child was Ellen Hartry, now Mrs. Ellen French, of 
Dennison, born in October, 1855. The first marriage was that of 
Robert Fotherby and Sarah Strange, who were united before 
Charles Parks, justice of the peace. E. L. Clark taught the first 


school in 1856-57. the sessions being held in a building which he 
had erected for the purpose, principally of basswood logs; and 
which, for this reason, he named Basswood Seminary. This build- 
ing was also used for a house of worship, on Sabbath days for 
some time thereafter. 

Cannon Falls township is bounded on the north by Dakota 
county, on the west by Dakota county and Stanton, on the south 
by Leon, and on the east by Vasa. It comprises one entire gov- 
ernment township, Xo. 112, range 17, and its area has remained 
unchanged since the township act of 1858. 

Among the early supervisors of the township were: William 
Barton. W. P. Scofield, Lewis Engberg, J. D. Wheat, Abram Mal- 
let, D. H. Knox, George West, J. D. Jennings. H. A. Tanner, D. L. 
Davis. F. Pentz, C. W. Gillet. James McGinnis, E. E. Chase, 
W. P. Tanner and G. Slocum. The first town clerks were : J. T. 
Moss, Eli Ellsworth. George L. Baker, W. H. Scofield, J. D. Jen- 
nings, A. J. Phelps, John Jennings, Frank Slocum. W. P. Tanner 
served as town treasurer for eleven years, and was then followed 
by Frank Slocum. The early justices of the peace were J. A. 
Wilson. Park Tucker, G. Westman. W. H. Scofield and W. P. 
Tanner. The first constables were James H. Peyton, E. H. Klock, 
George McKenzie, E. R. Steel and George Kinder. 

Those who enlisted in the Civil War from Cannon Falls were 
as follows : Marion Abbott, Charles J. Anderson, Thomas H. 
Baker, John Boss. Captain George L. Baker. E. E. Chase, E. L. 
< "lark, Daniel E. < a dwell. George W. Doud, Peter Engberg, Jona- 
than Flynn. Lieutenant AVilliam D. Hale, Henry Hamilton, Nels. 
B. Johnson. Luther M.- Knox, James M. Knox. Charles Klock, 
Olof Larson, Peter Lindberg, George Lewis. William Morrell, 
George VY. Xeff, James H. Payton. William 0. Stranahan. Mathew 
Willson, Albert G. Leach. Charles M. Scofield, Marvin Cary, John 
Hoffstatter, Harlow VanVleit. < 'aptain Ara Barton, George Cook, 
Samuel Dilly. Samuel Hullett. AVilliam Hullett, John J. Hartig. 
James F. Kelley. Stephen A. Penny, Jacob Rhodes, David Val- 
entine, Joseph Blum, James A. Wright, Austin Demming, Cor- 
nelius Crown, Thomas Jennings. Lester Bancroft. George Park, 
Edward Klock. Nels Lindenholm, Matts Peterson, Cyrus Van 
Vliet. James L. Scofield, Luther Scofield. 

The present officials of the township are: Elof Johnson, 
chairman; Edward Lano and Martin Chelson, supervisors; Emil 
Bloomberg, clerk; Olaf Haine, treasurer; Louis Rapp, assessor. 



Featherstone — Florence — Frontenac — Goodhue Township and 
Village — Advantages and Growth — Holden — Kenyon Town- 
ship and Village — Modern Progress — Leon — Minneola. 

Featherstone comprises one entire government township. No. 
112 north, range 17 west, and has remained unchanged since the 
township act of 1858. It has no villages, its trading and ship- 
ping point being Red Wing, which is its near neighbor. Burnside, 
also, as well as Red Wing, borders it on the north, Hay creek 
on the east, Goodhue on the south and Vasa on the west. It is 
crossed by the Great Western railroad, the line through this 
township having originally been the Duluth & Red Wing. The 
township is intersected by the Hay creek valley on the east and 
by Spring creek valley on the west. These valleys are deep 
and wide, but their slopes are almost uniformly turfed, while 
between the bluffs that enclose them are some of the finest farms 
in the state, in a rich, deep loam. The higher farms on the 
uplands between the valleys are based on a yellowish loam for 
sub-soil, and are fertile and reliable for the usual crops. Some 
of them are sightly and command very picturesque landscapes, 
extending over the valleys with which the township is nearly 
surrounded. The surface is from undulating to rolling. Beau- 
tiful residences, surrounded with groves, from which stretch 
rich and highly cultivated farms, prevail through the township. 
The earliest settlers, who had come from countries wooded and 
watered, were not familiar with the advantages of prairie land, 
and consequently Featherstone was not settled until settlements 
of considerable size had sprung up in some of the other localities 
in the county. 

The township was named from William Featherstone and his 
extensive family, who came here with a number of farm hands to 
assist him in breaking the land, in 1856. He was not, however, 
the actual first settler, as in 1855 John Spencer, Philip Storkel 
and the Messrs. Goldsmith and Coleman had staked out claims 
and started to cultivate the land. Other early settlers were 



William Freyberger, George Featherstone, J. Meacham and Rev. 
John Watson. 

William Featherstone, in relating some incidents of the early 
days, not many years ago, said that he broke a claim in 1856, 
but that a portion of his land had been broken the year before 
by others. He sowed ten bushels of fife wheat which he had 
brought from Canada, the first seed wheat of that kind in this 
section of the country. His first crop yielded but eighteen 
bushels to the acre. He sold what wheat he could spare for seed, 
broke up 170 acres more of land and sowed the next year, 
receiving a yield of about twenty-four bushels to the acre. The 
larger portion of this crop was also sold for seed. This is claimed 
by some writers to have been the origin of "hard wheat" in 
this state, but the same honor has been claimed for other 

The first death in the township was that of a Mr. McMahon, 
who perished from exposure on his attempting to return from 
Red Wing on a cold night in January, 1857. The first marriage 
was that of James A. Jones and Mary Libby. daughter of William 
Libby. the ceremony being performed by the Rev. J. H. Han- 
cock. The first school was taught in the summer of 1856 by 
Mary Cox. in a claim shanty, the location of which later passed 
into the hands of Henry Featherstone. 

October 21, 1857, William Libby called a school meeting. F. 
N. Leavitt was chosen chairman and George Featherstone clerk. 
The first board of trustees consisted of William Freyberger, 
William Libby and William Watson. William Featherstone was 
clerk, making a board composed entirely of Williams. Although 
the district comprised nearly the whole township, there were 
but seventeen children of legal school age. The first schoolhouse 
was built in the winter of 1857-58 at a cost of $250. The first 
church service was held at. the home of William Featherstone in 
1856. In 1862 the Methodists built a church edifice. 26x40, at a 
cost of $1,000. Hay Creek mills, on Hay creek, were built in the 
early days by a German pioneer named Kotzube, who afterward 
sold out to Messrs. Cogelt and Betcher, of Red Wing. In 1866 
Ezekiel Burleigh opened a hotel, but failing to secure a license, 
he closed the place, finding that the patronage was too limited 
to support a "dry" hotel. 

A list has been preserved of the voters at the first election, 
held July 5. 1858. They were: John Watson, F. N. Leavitt, 
Philip Rounds, George Wpoley, William Libby, Ernest Rosa, 
Benjamin Jones, David Coverdale, Calvin Frizzell, John Watson,. 
William Featherstone, Jonathan R. Perkins, H. B. Wooley, 
Charles Perkins, C. Rosa. Edward McMahon, Samuel P. Snow, 


John Gennis, William Freyberger, A. D. Roberts and Joseph Friz- 
zell. The election resulted as follows: Supervisors, AYilliam 
Freyberger (chairman), S. P. Snow, Harlow Rogers; assessor, 
A. D. Roberts: justices of the peace, William Libby, L. Snow; 
constables, W. H. Featherstone, Charles Perkins; town clerk, 
John Watson; collector, H. B. AVooley; overseer of poor, William 
L. Watson; overseers of highways, J. R. Perkins, J. C. Arnold, 
George Wooley, Gotleib Buholtz, William Featherstone. 

Among the early chairmen of supervisors were William Frey- 
berger, F. N. Leavitt, William Freyberger, George Feather- 
stone, F. X. Leavitt (three terms), William Freyberger. The 
early town clerks were John Watson (two terms), A. D. Roberts, 
John Watson ( three terms). George Featherstone (two terms). 

Featherstone's contribution to the Civil War consisted of R. 
N. Aakers, George Cook, W. H. Featherstone, Edwin A. Fessen- 
den, August F. Greed, Owen Gallagher, Lemuel Herbert, Charles 
Johnson, Francis McMahon, N. P. Malmberg, Thomas Pallas, 
Frank E. Peterson, AYilliam Edson Rice, John Suiter, Samuel 
Smith, Benjamin J. Taylor. Harvey Van Auken, C. H. Watson, 
Robert Chaterick, Robert Callihan. James Cramand, Sewell Ells- 
worth, Andrew J. Ellis, August L. Green, Isaac W. Stewart, 
Franklin J. Gale, Perry Gilmore, John C. Hilt, John Hallivers, 
Patrick Ogo. Henry Jones, Nathan Levy, John Livingston, D. 
M. MeDole. John A. Murray, James Nelson. William Piper, Frank 
Rayher. Charles Rye, AYilliam J. Skinner, John Thompson, AYill- 
iam Maloy. Charles AV. AYixon, Frank H. AYright, Alvin H. 
Walter, AYilliam Trippe. John Ab)ore, AYatson S. Tilton. Walter 
Carter. Redden IT. Everett. Anson C. Smith, Joseph R. Squire, 
Ezra Sheldon. Thomas T. Kennedy, Hiram Niell, Edward Smith. 
Freeman D. James, Elias C. McCrorey, Daniel II. Robinson, Tolak 
Oleson. Joh'n Arnold, Joseph Hepp, Joseph Katthoff, Anthony 
Leland, Frederick Schmidt, Richard Britton, Jacob Banlig. An- 
drew Baker, Charles Baker, Benjamin Bevins, Thomas Carr. 
Thomas Hope, George E. Hanson, Albert Savage. Nelson Moriset, 
Ernest Pfefferle. Alathias Schabert, Horace K. Blake. 

At the present time agriculture 1 is practically the only occu- 
pation carried on in the township. There are several fine schools, 
and the township is noted for the teachers and professional men 
who have received their boyhood education within its borders. 
The town lias a Methodist church and a neat town hall, well 
suited for public gatherings. On Trout brook, in the northeast- 
ern part of the town large mills were once creeled for the 
purposes of a tannery and sugar mill and were owned by J. E. 
Porter, but are now demolished. There was once a post office, 
Burley, in this township. 



Florence constitutes all of township 112, range 13, lying in 
Goodhue county. A portion of Wacoota bounds it on the north, 
Lake Pepin forms its northeastern border for a distance of many 
miles. Central Point also lies to the east. At the south is 
Wabasha county, and on the west is Hay Creek. The township 
was organized under the general act of 1858, with its present 
boundaries. It was named in honor of Florence Graham, daugh- 
ter of Judge Chris. Graham, of Red Wing. 

The surface is broken and hilly, with deep valleys running 
westward from Lake Pepin. In sections 3 and 8 there is consider- 
able peat, and it is probable that this deposit in various parts 
of the township is much more plentiful than is generally sup- 
posed. The soil is fertile, well watered by Wells' creek, which, 
with its many tributaries, has a general course from west to 
east. The farmers of the township pay particular attention 
to stock raising and dairying, and have achieved some remark- 
able results along these lines. 

The early history is identical with that of Frontenac, and 
reaches hack to the middle of the seventeenth century. The 
following is a list of the township officers in the earlier days of 
its organization, the first named under each date being the chair- 
man, the next two supervisors, and the last the clerk: 1858 — L. 
IT. Garrard, F. Z. K. Munger, L. I'tley. Peter Grant. 1860— H. 
F. Simmons, William Arnold, E. Z. K. Munger, Calvin Potter. 
1861— II. F. Simmons, E. Z. K. Munger, William Arnold, J. A. 
Owens. 1862 — E. Z. K. Munger, J. C. Bennewitz, John Wear, 
W. E. Low.-ll. 1863— J. 0. Bennewitz, S. R, Merrill, J. D. Spin- 
ney. W.'E. Lowell. 1861 — J. C. Bennewitz, J. D. Spinney, Rufus 
Dennin, W. E. Lowell. 1865— G. Terwillinger. O. P. Francisco, 
L. II. Garrard. II. Lorentzen. 1866 — G. Terwilliger, 0. P. Fran- 
cisco. Jeptha Garrard, H. Lorentzen. 1867 — Calvin Potter, N. 
0. McLean, David Walker. II. Lorentzen. 1868— G. Terwilliger, 
D. Walker, R, Menzel, II. Lorentzen. 1869— G. Terwilliger, 

D. Walker. R. Menzel, II. Lorentzen. 1870— G. Terwilliger, 
R. Menzel. J. Holliday, H. Lorentzen. 1871 — Eliab Munger, 

E. C. Eaton, D. Walker, J. C. Bennewitz. 1872— Eliab 
Munger, E. 0. Eaton, John Nute, H. Lorentzen. 1873 — John 
Nute, William Stroup, John Colby, H. Lorentzen. 1871 — John 
Nute, John Colby. D. G. Heggie, H. Lorentzen. 1875 — Same as 
previous year. 1876 — D. G. Heggie, John Sauter, H. J. Morch, 
H. Lorentzen. 1877 — G. Terwilliger, John Sauter, John Colby, 
II. Lorentzen. 1878 — G. Terwilliger. John Sauter, John Nute, H. 

Those who enlisted in the Civil War from Florence were: 



John Arden, Michael Ackerman, Henry Burritt, Oscar H. Free- 
man, Daniel W. Floss. Cyrus H. Gould, John Hager, Englebert 
Haller, Charles Hurder, Joseph Harrison, Casper Koch, Henry 
M. Libby, Harry Lowell, G. A. Grandsbrand, Warren Hunt. 
Fphraim Harrison, Emsley Hamilton, George W. Hall, Asa Howe, 
Russell A. Johnson, John A. Jackson, Ira A. Lynch, John Mc- 
Donald. Ole Nelson, Hiram M. Powers, Franklin Kelley, Theo- 
dore E. Freeman. John S. Harrison, Peter Connelly. Jefferson 
Cates, Michael Doyle, Jonathan A. Ingham, James B. Moor- 
house. Wilson A. Montgomery, William Houk, Joseph E. Mabey, 
Horace B. Randall, Ynlkert Warring, Eli N. Lewis. James 
Mitchell, James Owens. George Phinney, Nicholas Schierard, 
Jacob Schneider, J. K. Smith. Joseph Tapper. Oscar -Williams, 
P. H. Weaver, Ezra B. Andrus. Isaac Cate, Justus Chase, Asa 
Daily. Samuel Davis, Edwin C. Eaton, Gustav Sandberg, Jona- 
than Toms, Joseph C. Eldred, Charles H. McCamland. Dewitt C 
Smith. Sylvester Dunsmore, Sylvester T. Bush, John R. Winchell, 
Charles Willson, Orson A. Warren, Jasper M. Woodward, Will- 
iam Hemter, Andrew More, Horace M. Johnson, Newton Williams,. 
Cornelius W. Warring, Mead M. Milo. George W. Colby, Charles 
F. Church, William A. Brack, Jomes Coffman. Jahez M. Whitney, 
Judson Watson, Michael Hanley, John Johnson, Thomas Mc- 
Govin. William Morgan, Melvin B. Blasdell, Josiah Wood, Benja- 
min F. Covington. 


Frontenac, rich in historic traditions, and decorated by the 
hand of Nature in her most lavish mood, dates its settlement 
back to the beginning of the eighteenth century, when the sandy 
point directly opposite Maiden Rock was the scene of much 
French activity. It is situated in the northeastern part of the 
town of Florence, on beautiful terraces rising from the level of 
Lake Pepin. Above the village rises the towering peak of Point 
No-Point, so called from the fact that the winding of the lake 
is such that the approaching traveler from down the river, after 
sighting the point from six or seven miles away, gets apparently 
no nearer to it until he reaches Frontenac and finds himself a1 
its very base. 

Maiden Rock, opposite Point an Sable, has the common 
Indian tradition of the maiden who, forbidden to marry her lover, 
leaped to her death from its precipitous height. The story, told 
in a breezy manner in a newspaper some years ago. is perhaps 
more interesting reading than the same story related in more 
dignified language. The story alluded to is as follows: "A 
Dakotah maiden, Wenona, camped at the foot of the rock with 
her family once upon a time, as they say in the fairy tales. 


Wenona was a very beautiful maiden. Maidens who are heroines 
of romantic tales are always beautiful, no matter what their color 
may be. Of course "Wenona had lovers. There was a rich old 
chief who had polecat skins without number, and ponies and 
whatever else in the way of personal possessions that made an 
Indian a desirable suitor in those days. To be sure, he was old, 
but that did not matter — in the eyes of Wenona 's parents. 
AYenona herself had given her young heart and love to a brave 
and handsome warrior named Chaska, who, however, being 
young, had not yet had time to accumulate polecat skins, and so 
on. He was therefore not at all desirable in the eyes of the 
parents, as is often the ease with poor young lovers and prudent 
old folks. The maiden's parents argued that love is an illusion, 
and that wealth, represented by polecats or any other commodity, 
is a very substantial fact, which is a very foolish thing for a 
maiden to ignore. So these cruel parents forbade their daughter 
to see the young brave any more and insisted that she marry 
the rich old chief with the pelts. They thought that settled the 
question ; but a few evenings later there came floating down 
from the summit of the Rock, nearly a hundred feet higher, the 
death song of the heart-broken and faithful AYenona. AVhen it 
was finished the maid leaped out and fell, a bruised and broken 
corpse, on the jagged rocks below, almost at the feet of her 
heartless parents." James AY ells, the Indian trader, and others 
accuiainted with Indian character and ways, were asked some 
fifty years ago what they thought of this tradition, but all agreed 
that it was unlike the Indian, and that the Indians themselves 
put little faith in the story. Moreover, Chaska and AYenona are 
names signifying simply the oldest born son and daughter, 
respectively, and occurred in every Dakota family. 

Modern Frontenac had a beginning in the late forties of the 
nineteenth century, when the old Indian trader, James Wells, 
more familiarly known as "Bully" AVells. AVells sold his build- 
ing in 1854 to Everett AVestervelt, and removed to Fairbault, k 
afterward meeting with a tragic fate at the hands of the Sioux 
during the frontier outbreak of 1862. In October of that year 
Israel Garrard and Louis Garrard spent some time along the 
shores of Lake Pepin, and greatly prepossessed with the historic 
associations and beautiful scenery, concluded to secure an inter- 
est along the lake shore. Dr. L. II. Garrard went to Europe, 
where he remained two years, Avhile General Israel Garrard, 
afterward one of the county's most distinguished citizens, re- 
mained at the trading post with Everett AVestervelt. In 1857, 
when the half-breed scrip was. issued, Frontenac was purchased 
by Air. AVestervelt and Israel Garrard and divided into quarter 
interests, Air. AVestervelt owning one, L. H. Garrard one, Israel 


Garrard one, and Kennet Garrard, then in the United States 
army, the other quarter. General Garrard established what was 
practically a baronial estate at Frontenac, naming it St. Hubert's 
lodge. For ages to come, the village of Frontenac, on the lake- 
side, will be inseparably connected with the names of General 
Israel, Dr. L. H., General Kenner and Colonel Jeptha Garrard, 
and with that of General McLean, the mother of the Garrards 
having married his father, Judge McLean. Among the guests 
at St. Hubert's have been such celebrities as General Charles 
King, the popular novelist, and Joseph Jefferson, the great actor, 
as well as innumerable army officers of national note. 

Frontenac at the present time is a popular summer resort. 
The Frontenac Inn occupies a point projecting into the lake, 
consisting of several acres of ground. About this hotel are 
cottages in picturesque positions, and in the neighborhood are 
croquet and tennis lawns, boat houses, bathing houses and stables. 
There are fine opportunities for boating, fishing and hunting, 
which have won for the place a national prominence. There are 
charming drives to the fine points of view on the surrounding 
bluffs on good roads. The drive along the lake shore, six miles 
to Lake City, affords many a delightful prospect. An Episco- 
palian chapel offers opportunities for Sabbath worship. Near 
by is the Villa Maria school for girls, conducted by the Ursuline 

Frontenac Inn, one of the most desirable summer resorts on 
the Mississippi river, is managed by Celestine M. Schaller, whose 
able conduct of the place is bringing back to Frontenac some of 
the prominence which in former days it occupied in the summer 
plans of people in search of rest, amusement or recreation. It 
is a comfortable building, with airy rooms, plenty of sunshine 
and with a beautiful view from every window. Situated along 
a picturesque drive are a number of roomy and comfortable 
cottages which are used by the guests of the Inn. The Inn and 
the cottages are surrounded by a beautiful park. Fishing, boat- 
ing, croquet, tennis and dancing are among the amusements 
offered, while those who enjoy walks and drives can find no more 
picturesque surroundings. Many of the large Mississippi boats 
stop at the Inn and a buss connects the place with the railroad 
at Frontenac station. The table at the Inn is widely known for 
its excellence. Miss Schaller is a capable manager, and the place 
is being improved year by year under her direction. 

Frontenac Station is on the S. M. & St. Paul railway, twelve 
miles south of Ked Wing. It has a German Lutheran church, a 
stone yard, a grain elevator, a saloon, general stores and black- 
smiths. The town hall is also located in this village. The stone 
quarries are worthy of extended note. The stone is of a light 


cream color and is used in large quantities for building pur- 
poses, tombstones and monuments. George W. Garrard is the 

The Frontenac stone quarry has been operated more or less 
since the early fifties. Its light cream stone, used for general 
ornamental work, is no'ted throughout the United States, and is 
used in the interior of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the 
great church of the Episcopal denomination in New York, and 
one of the handsomest church edifices in America, which will 
cause its praises to be sung by countless generations to come. 
Among three hundred samples of stone submitted, from the best 
quarries in the world, the Frontenac stone was selected as being 
the most suited for interior work of the most exquisite nature. 
Other smaller contracts have all shown the adaptability and 
beauty of this stone. George "Wood Garrard, the owner and 
manager of the quarry, has taken an artistic as well as a busi- 
ness interest in the Frontenac product. 

General Israel Garrard, for nearly half a century the patri- 
archal sage and patron of Frontenac, was probably a man of 
wider and more distinguished fame than anyone else who has 
resided in this county. Of him it lias well been said: "General 
Garrard was beloved by all who knew him, for his kindly and 
courtly manner toward all — for he was a peer among the finished 
gentlemen of his age — and by many he was regarded with a love 
that could but spring from hearts that had been soothed in 
times of tribulation and distress by his more than generous 
sympathy and substantial assistance. The extent of his benevo- 
lence, touching the needs of scores of the distressed in this region 
and elsewhere, will never be fully known. For. though his lib- 
erality to all who were in distress is known to have been munifi- 
cent and far-reaching, he was one who never permitted his loving 
kindness to be noised about." 

Israel Garrard was born in Lexington. Ky., October 22, 1825, 
the oldest son of Jeptha D. Garrard and Sarah Bella Ludlow, 
his wife. He was descended on the paternal side from James 
Garrard, one of the earliest settlers and governors of Kentucky, 
and on the maternal side from Israel Ludlow, one of the original 
proprietors of the townsite of Cincinnati. As a boy Israel Gar- 
rard was a pupil of Ormsby M. Mitchell, afterward attending 
Cary's Academy and also Bethany College in "West Virginia. 
He read law with Judge Swayne. at Columbus, Ohio, and gradu- 
ated from the Harvard law school, at Cambridge. Mass. At the 
age of twenty-nine, in company with Dr. Louis H. Garrard, 
General Garrard came into the wilds of Minnesota on a hunting 
trip. For several weeks he camped on the shores of Lake Pepin, 
and being impressed with its beauties, determined to make the 


spot his future borne. He took up a tract of land several hundred 
acres in extent, running for over seven miles along the shore, 
and over half as far hack from the water. This land was in 
the famous half-breed tract, and Colonel Garrard obtained it 
from the old Jean Baptiste Faribault, paying for the half-breed 
scrip to the old French-Indian, on the spot where the city of 
Faribault now stands. The original hunting trip was made in 
the fall of 1854, and the purchase was confirmed in 1857. After 
the hunting trip in 1854 Dr. Garrard went to Europe for two 
years, while General Garrard remained at Frontenac with 
Everett Westervelt. the successor of James Wells, the Indian 
trader. In 1857, when the half-breed scrip was issued and the 
purchase of Frontenac was made, the Garrard tract was divided 
into quarters, Everett Westervelt owning one, Dr. Garrard one, 
Israel Garrard one, and Kenner Garrard, then in the amy, 
another. General Garrard at once started the establishment of 
St. Hubert's lodge. The lodge, now owned by his son, is a quaint 
mansion, built after the style of the old southern houses of ante- 
bellum days. A stag's head with a cross between the antlers 
is the coat of arms of the residence, after the patron of hunters. 
St. Hubert, who, having as a roysterer dared to desecrate Good 
Friday by a riotous hunt, was stopped by a spirit stag with a 
crucifix on his forehead, after which the knight, awe-struck 
dropped on his knees in the forest, surrounded by his retainers, 
and devoted his life to the cause of religion, the wild hunters 
becoming monks, and Hubert their abbot, the castle being con- 
verted into a monastery. Albert Durer, the father of etching, 
long ago portrayed the scene, and a heleotype of the etching, 
from the Gray collection at Harvard, occupies a. place of honor 
in the library of the Garrard mansion. Around St. Hubert's 
lodge at Frontenac were gradually erected small cottages, in 
which were domiciled the working people of the estate. These 
were brought from Cincinnati by General Garrard and were, 
almost without exception, Germans. 

When the Rebellion broke out, General Garrard, faithful to 
the Union, hurried south. He raised a troop of cavalry at Cin- 
cinnati, equipped it at his own expense and then presented it 
to the governor of Ohio. Of this regiment, the Seventh Ohio 
Cavalry, he was the colonel, having had some previous experi- 
ence during the siege of Cincinnati, on the staff of Major 
McDowell, commanding the organization of city and state forces. 
After the mustering in of his regiment, until the close of the 
war, he was absent from the field but eight days, and then his 
command was in camp recruiting. He commanded ;i brigade 
much of the time, and after the capture of Stoneman on the 
Macon raid before Atlanta he commanded what remained of the 


division. June 21. 1865, he was promoted to brigadier general 
by brevet, and on July 4 of the same year he was mustered out. 
On taking leave of his regiment he was presented with a cavalry 
standard, on which was embroidered the following epitome of 
his service: "Carter Raid, Dutton Hill, Monticello, West's Gap, 
Xnffmgton Island, Cumberland Gap, Blue Springs, Blountville, 
Rogersvillc. Morristown, Cheek's Cross Roads. Bean Station, 
Dandridge, Massy Creek, Fair Garden. Synthiana, Atlanta, Duck 
River, Nashville, Plantersville, Selma and Columbus." On the 
plate on the staff is an inscription expressing the regiment's 
confidence in him as a leader and its respect for him as a patriot 
and gentleman. 

At the close of the war the general returned to Frontenac, 
and with occasional trips to the East, spent the remainder of his 
life on his estate. He loved books and was a great reader. His 
generosity was proverbial among the people of southern Min- 
nesota. He was a member of no church, but contributed to all. 
He almost supported the little Episeopalian chapel, and the 
Lutherans found him a willing contributor. He gave the Ursu- 
line sisters 100 acres of land on which to build their convent, 
and there are few rooms in the building that do not contain 
some article presented by him. The general was a most hospit- 
able man and entertained many well known people at St. Hubert's 
lodge. General ( 'harles King was a frequent guest, and several 
of his popular novels were written while at St. Huberl "s. General 
King was so impressed by the beauty of Frontenac that he made 
the cottages and hotel the scene of several stories. Joseph Jeffer- 
son made St. Hubert's his headquarters for many a fishing 
excursion, and the army officers always found the latch string 
hanging outward. General Garrard was very fond of military 
men. his active service having given him an interest in them 
which was shared by his two brothers. General Kenner Garrard 
and Colonel Jeptha Garrard. The former was a West Point 
graduate, and the latter, like his brother Israel, presented a troop 
of cavalry to his governor. 

Israel Garrard was married in May. 1856, to Catherine Wood, 
the oldest daughter of George Wood, a distinguished New York 
law 7 yer. To this union w T ere born two children, George Wood 
Garrard and Margaret Hills Garrard. The general died Sep- 
tember 21. 1901. as the result of injuries received while extin- 
guishing a fire caused by an overturned lamp. He is laid to rest 
in the family cemetery, the spot being one which he and his wife 
selected many years ago. In his death the county lost a dis- 
tinguished citizen, hundreds lost a warm friend, and his genera- 
tion lost a most kindly and noble soul. Mrs. Garrard died 
January 12, 1867. 


Gecrge Wood Garrard, son of General Israel Garrard, was 
born in Peekskill, X. Y.. August 20, 1863. He was educated at 
Morgan Park Military Academy. Chicago 111., and supplemented 
this training with extensive travels in Europe and the Orient. 
Like his father, he has been a collector, and the Garrard 
mansion now contains many relics and works of art which he has 
added to the family heirlooms. His collection of Japanese curios 
is particularly interesting. Mr. Garrard has devoted his life to 
managing the Garrard estates, and at the present time is manager 
and owner of the Frontenae Stone Company, mentioned else- 
where. He was married in 1889, October 31, to Virginia Colden 
Hoffman, daughter of Lindley Murray Hoffman, a prominent 
New York broker, and his wife, Margaret Mott. To Mr. and 
Mrs. George Wood Garrard have been born three daughters, 
Beulah Murray, Evelyn Stuart and Catherine Wood, all at home. 


Goodhue comprises township No. Ill, range 15, and was 
originally a part of Belvidere, the combined township having 
been known as Elmira, York and Belvidere, successively, the 
latter name being retained by the half included in section 14 
to the present day. Goodhue is bounded on the north by Feather- 
stone, on the east by Belvidere, on the south by Zumbrota and 
on the Avest by Belle Creek. In the western part there is an 
outrunning of Trenton limestone, making a high table land. The 
remainder of the township is lower, with broad valleys and some 
ridges. There are no big streams, and the soil throughout the 
township is of good quality and well adapted for the usual crops. 

The first settlement in the township was in 1854, when Francis 
Yergens and John Mann came in and staked out claims, built 
cabins and started to establish their homes in the wilderness. 
The succeeding year these two were followed by David Hickock, 
John Ingerbretson, Harry Danielson, Oliver Knutson and Knut 
Knutson. David Hickock and John Mann opened their houses 
for the accommodation of travelers. Peter Easterly came in 
1856 and finding that Hickock and Mann each had more business 
than they could attend to, opened another hotel, which also had 
its full share of business for many years. Some time Later 
Hickock and Mann both abandoned the business, and for a con- 
siderable period Easterly kept the only public house in the place. 

The first birth in Goodhue was in 1855, when a child was 
born to Mrs. Francis Yergens. which was christened Henry. 
The wife of Daniel Hickock died in 1856, this being the first 
death in the township. The Rev. Jabez Brooks officiated at this 
service, and the sermon he preached on the occasion was the 


first religious observance of a public nature in the town. The 
first school was taught by Georgiette Easterly in the summer of 
1857. In 1858 H. H. Oleson opened a blacksmith shop, which 
was the only one in the township until 1868, when a man named 
Mutz built a shop near Easterly's hotel. In the spring of 1867 
the Goodhue Seed Association was organized for the purpose 
of receiving the advantages of a combination which would pro- 
cure seeds and other articles at wholesale instead of retail prices. 
The officers of the association were: President. Samuel Parker; 
secretary, Harrison Lowater; treasurer, T. M. Lowater. 

In the earlier days church services were held at the homes 
of the settlers; sometimes in charge of a clergyman, lint more 
often conducted by some of the pioneers themselves. An early 
church was the German Lutheran church, organized in the spring 
of 1868 by the Rev. Christian Bender. At that time it had but 
seven members: A. Seeback, Gotlieb Seeback, R. Haas, Charles 
Semke. William Betcher, Herman Kempe and Peter Tipke. A 
church was built the same year at a cost of $500. Rev. Mr. 
Bender preached the dedicatory service the last Sunday in 
August. Later a new church, 36x50. was erected at a cost of 
about $2,500. 

At a meeting held at the home of Peter Easterly. April 5, 
1859, of the voters of that part of Belvidere lying in section 
15, the matter of a separate township was favorably acted upon 
and the following officers were elected tentatively: Supervisors, 
P. Easterly (chairman). Ezra Bennett. Sylvester Cranson; town 
clerk, John Stowe ; collector, F. Cranson; assessor, Sylvester 
Cranson ; overseer of the -poor, H. B. Patterson. At the same 
meeting it was voted to call the new town Goodhue, after the 
county. A petition was prepared and this having been granted, 
September 13, 1859, township 111, range 14, was constituted a 
separate body, with the proviso that the name be either Lime 
or Goodhue. For a short time the township was known as Lime. 
J. Going, then county clerk, appointed in 1859 the following pro- 
visional officers: Supervisors, Charles H. Mclntire (chairman), 
L. C. Burke, H. B. Patterson ; town clerk, John Stowe ; justices, 
Samuel Parker, Sylvester Cranson ; constables, H. Olson and S. 
W. Carney ; assessor, George Spicer ; collector, F. Cranson ; over- 
seer of roads, John Gleason ; overseer of the poor, H. Danielson. 
The following year a regular board was elected. The name 
Goodhue, which from the beginning had been the choice of the 
people, became the official title in January, 1860. Among the 
early chairmen of the township were Charles H. Mclntire, T. 
M. Lowater, Samuel Parker, A. A. Anderson, David Purdy, F. 
Tether, J. Finney, W. H. H. Bruce, E. Kolbe. The early clerks 


were: L. C. Burke, S. S. Gibson, Isaac Gallagher, Lewis John- 
son and John McHugh. 

Goodhue's contribution to the Civil War consisted of Captain 
Hezekiah Bruce, W. Harrison Bruce, Samuel Budd, Walter E. 
Barnes,- King H. Bennett, Lieutenant James H. Carney, Henry 
Danielson, Harmon Easterly, David Hickock, Lucius H. Hickock, 
Lewis Johnson. William King, Otis Ludden, Harry Lowater, 
Marsell B. Millien, Charles W. Mills, Cecil Miller, Sofe Rasmus- 
sen, Charles E. Bolander, Ernest Base, John Erieson, Theodore 
Kempter, Herman J. Newhouse, Christopher Oleson, Adelbert 
Reinhardt, Andrew Doudes, George E. Bivers, Asa Gould, Henry 
Brandes, AVilliam Gun, George Land. 

An extensive area of this town is underlaid, a short distance 
below the surface, by a large bed of clay of a superior quality, 
which has been extensively used by the stoneware works at Red 

Clay Bank is a stopping place on the Great Western railroad. 

Goodhue village is a bustling settlement which has enjoyed 
a steady growth, and is believed to have a splendid future 
ahead of it. 


Situated almost in the very center of the county of the same 
name we find the village of Goodhue, a place of 500 souls, who in 
a sense regard themselves as farmers, in view of the fact that 
as you look out upon the country in any direction the eye beholds 
farms, beautiful farms, consisting of 160 up to 400 acres, studded 
with tine houses and large barns, a source of great comfort and 
convenience to the landlords who have selected agriculture as 
their occupation. 

When the Dulutb. Red Wing & Southern railroad from Red 
Wing to Zumbrota was in course of construction during the year 
1888 it was then that the village of Goodhue came into existence, 
at first consisting of the railroad camps which were here located 
during the building of several miles of the road up and down the 
line, the road being completed in the spring and early summer 
of 1889. When there was no longer any use for the railroad 
camps at this place and the tents and so forth had all been 
removed, there was still a mission for the little burg to perform, 
and from that time the place has always been regarded as an 
important trading point, keeping pace witli the demands <>f a 
large and wealthy agricultural community, which borders on 
every side, until now there are fifteen stores of various kinds. 
to say nothing of the numerous business houses, including tin 1 
newspaper office of the "Goodbue Enterprise." 

The country tributarv to Goodbue on the north, south, east 


and west, some years before this village "was known, and before 
the farmers had taken up diversified farming to a great degree, 
wheat raising being their principal avocation, had much to do in 
the making of Goodhue county responsible for Red AYing's repu- 
tation of being tbe greatest inland wheat market in the world, 
which at first sounds boastful, however, is true, the city of Red 
Wing at that time receiving more wheat from farmers' wagons 
than any other place in the world. While very much of this 
wheat was necessarily brought from territory as far away as 
Owatonna, ox teams usually making the long '"caravans" that 
brought in the bread stuff which was shipped from this (then) 
small place to the eastern markets. Therefore it is not hard for 
the reader to place a value upon the section of country around us 
which then figured so prominently in making Red Wing's great 
grain market and which today borders on this village and whose 
farmers in the main market their grain at one of the three ele- 
vators here found and who buy their goods in the town which 
affords so good a market place. In addition to the elevators, 
the village for a number of years boasted of a fine, up-to-date 
250-barrel flouring mill, which, according to the way of mis- 
fortune, however, about a year ago was burned to the ground. 
It is almost necessary that a point of this kind have a mill, and 
today there is talk of one. though not so large as the old one, 
being founded by the Farmers' Co-operating Company. 

The business men of Goodhue generally have made good, and 
their reputation, from a financial point of view, is an enviable 
• me. although it is not possible for one in a place no larger than 
this to accumulate the money that can be done in cities, yet 
Here are many features surrounding this particular place that 
spell fascination to the person looking for a good place in 
which to locate, the death rate, in the first place, being the 
smallest of any place in the country, good schools, adequate fire 
protection, a supply of the most beautiful city water that was 
ever drawn into a glass, and those who believe that the religious 
sects have much to do with the advancement o? any place here 
have the opportunity of attending the Methodist, Catholic, or 
English Lutheran church, while only a short way east of the 
village there are found German Lutheran churches and parochial 

Before passing, it seems only fitting to make some special 
mention of the First National Bank of Goodhue, which began 
business in a small way in 1900. as a private institution. Busi- 
ness increased so rapidly that a $12,000 brick block for its accom- 
modation was soon erected, and the banking house was made 
over into a national bank and today its deposits are $190,000. 
Figures won't lie. and figures of this kind cannot help but 


bespeak the prosperity of the citizens of Goodhue and farmers 
doing business here. The officers of the bank are: President, 
H. M. Scovell; vice-president, E. J. Maybauer; cashier. C. A. 

One of the best creameries in the state (we say "best in the 
state" because of its ability in most cases to pay such prices 
and do business in such a way as to make it apparent to the 
farmer that this is the place where he can sell the dairy 
product to the greatest advantage) is the Goodhue Creamery. 
Thus the consolidated butter factory of the city gets from this 
community only a smattering of business, while all who know the 
value of a home creamery rejoice daily at the business tactics 
here ^adopted, making it possible to point with pride to this 

Since the reputation of this section as a grain raising country 
has so long been established, it would hardly be fair to the stock- 
men to pass without saying that the horse buyers and cattlemen 
of the cities, when they want something choice, find Goodhue 
about the best place along the line to make their headquarters, 
where the owners of fine horses and fine cattle'can he seen daily 
as they come in from the garden spot of Goodhue county. 

"The Goodhue Enterprise," which is published on Thursday 
of each week, claims for its special aim in life the furnishing of 
a large grist of local and neighborhood news to its 700 sub- 
scribers, at the same time carrying to the average farmer of this 
part of the county, in the form of neatly displayed advertise- 
ments, the store news which the merchants of the village furnish, 
telling the buyers what they have for sale and urging them to 
come here whenever it is possible for them to do so. 'The Enter- 
prise" was established in 1896. the first issue being gotten out 
on Christmas day of that year, by what was known as the Good- 
hue Printing Company; however. D. C. Pierce, who continues to 
publish the paper, became its sole owner, and although Goodhue 
is a place of less than a thousand people, this publication has 
ever enjoyed a lucrative patronage, built up a nice business and 
established a reputation for reliability and punctuality. In 
politics it is Republican. 

The village of Goodhue was incorporated at a special elec- 
tion held April 26, 1897: President, P. D. Kelly; councilmen, 0. 
Parker, F. Holtz. C. L. Parkin; recorder, C. E. Rucker. The fire 
department was organized in 1898. Fire protection at present 
is furnished by water system from tank on a high elevation in 
the southwestern part of town, known as Cranson Heights. This 
tank was put up in 190:-!. capacity 80,000 gallons. The former 
protection was furnished by chemical system. Goodhue is noted 
for its supply of excellent pure water. Prom a deep citj well, the 


same being furnished nearly every house in town by means of 
faucets. The village marshal is William A. O'Reilly. The pres- 
ent village officers are : President, H. M. Scovell ; councilmen, 

D. C. Bell, Joe H. Majerus and Louis N. Schinnert; recorder, A. 

E. Adler. 

The leading business men are : First National Bank, with H. 
M. Scovell, president, and C. A. Arpke, cashier. Goodhue County 
Telephone Company — Pardiu & Meyer, proprietors. Hardware 
and machinery — Nelson & Johnson, proprietors. Goodhue Hard- 
ware and Implement Company — Lally & McNamara, proprietors. 
Clothing and men's furnishing goods — Adler, Schacht & Co., pro- 
prietors; A. E. Adler, manager. Jewelry, watches, etc., with 
pianos — H. H. Buck, proprietor. General merchandise — J. N. 
Banitt, proprietor; J. H. Quast. Goodhue Co-operative Company 
— C. Rueker, manager; John Meyer, proprietor. Goodhue Cash 
Si ore — 0. E. Kyllo, manager. Drugs, medicine, etc. — Howard & 
Co., G. AV. Robinson, manager. Newspaper — Goodhue "Enter- 
prise," D. C. Pierce, publisher and proprietor. Meat market — 
Heaney Bros. Hotels — Merchants. Mrs. Frank P. Ahern, pro- 
prietor; the Goodhue Hotel. J. P. Ahern, proprietor. Lumber — 
North Star Lumber Company. John McHugh. manager. Millinery 
-Mrs. J. S. Davis, proprietor. Cigar factory — Hoist & Vieths, 
proprietors. Harness shop — F. W. Prahl, proprietor. Furniture 
and undertaking — Zorn & Co.. proprietors. Restaurant and con- 
fections — L. X. Schinnert. proprietor. 

The Modern Samaritans, organized February 21, 1901, with 
the following officers: G. F., 0. F. Nelson; scribe, C. E. Rueker; 
treasurer, Fred Eppen. The present officers are the same. 

The Red Men, organized April 3, 1901. The officers were: S., 
0. H. Rehder; sr. sac,-.. 1). J. McIIugh; jr. sag., A. D. Medhurst; 
prophet, James Chalmers; chief of records, Thomas Heaney; 
keeper of wampum. Thomas Lally. The present officers are : S., 
Francis Barry; sr. sag., C. J. A. Hanson; jr. sag., John Richter; 
prophet, D. C. Bell; chief of records, Thomas Lally; keeper of 
wampum, John McNamara. 

The Modern Woodmen of America, organized March, 1895. 
The officers were : < 'ouncil. John McHugh ; advisor, Elmer Cat- 
lin ; banker, 0. Parker ; clerk, William Richtman. Charter mem- 
bers : John McHugh, Elmer Catlin, 0. Parker, William Richt- 
man, James Chalmers, Thomas Maley, Eugene Crowell. P. D. 
Kelly, Joseph Heaney. F. E. Davis, Dr. S. E. Howard. The pres- 
ent officers are : Council, D. M. Franklin ; advisor, C. S. Hodsdon ; 
banker, H. M. Scovell; clerk. C. E. Rueker. 

The Royal Neighbors, organized June 15, 1900. The officers 
were : Oracle, Mrs. Jo\m McHugh ; vice oracle, Mary E. Mc- 
Hugh ; recorder, Mrs. (). E. Kyllo; receiver, Mrs. Helen Kelly; 


chancellor, Mrs. John 0. Davis; marshal, Mary Hoist; inner sen- 
tinel, Mrs. John O'Connell; outer sentinel, Mrs. Ella Ahern; 
managers. Ida Hoist. Hose Edwards and Tillie Casey. 

The Ancient Order of United Workmen, organized in 1905, 
with the following officers: P. M. W., John Eichter; M. W., C. 
IT. Render; foreman, R. C. Kellogg; overseer, M. H. Gregoire; 
recorder, D. C. Pierce; financier, T. AY. Lally; receiver, Hein 
Prigge; gnide, C. Raaseh. The present officers are: P. M. W., 
C. Raaseh; M. W., M. II. Gregoire; foreman, A. D. Haas; over- 
seer, C. F. Raaseh; recorder. C. S. Hodsdon; financier, T. M. 
Lally ; receiver, (Jans IT. Hoist ; guide, John Richter. 

The Brotherhood of American Yeomen, organized June 4, 1908, 
with the following charter members: Joe Heaney, Robert 
Heaney, F. L. Kempf, A. C. Kempf, W. H. H. Kempf, William 
Hope, A. M. Peterson, F. P. Ahern. Emma Dahlstrom, C. W. 
Sherwin, A. P. Johnson. M. J. Seovell, Hattie M. Prahl, F. T. 
'Gorman, Mary Heaney, Ella J. Heaney, Nellie D. Kempf, Will- 
iam H. Kempf, Elmer Kempf, Minnie C. Hope, Annie M. Peter- 
son. Rose Ahern. O. F. Nelson, A. E. Osgood, John Richter, Mary 
J. Tetcher, J. 0. O'Reilly. The officers were: Foreman, 0. F. 
Nelson ; master of ceremonies, A. E. Osgood ; master of accounts, 
Mary Heaney ; correspondent, AYilliam Hope ; chaplain, Mrs. H. 
M. Seovell; overseer, A. P. Johnson. The present officers are: 
Foreman, 0. F. Nelson; master of ceremonies, F. L. Kempf; mas- 
ter of accounts, Mary Heaney; correspondent, AVilliam Hope; 
chaplain. Nellie D. Kempf; overseer, Elmer Kempf. 

For the above article on the village of Goodhue the editors 

of this work are indebted to Dwight C. Pierce, of the Goodhue 

'Enterprise." The history of the churches is found elsewhere. 


Holden is one of the western tier of Goodhue county town- 
ships, and like the others, is rich in agricultural possibilities. 
It is bounded on the north by Warsaw, on the east by AYana- 
mingo, on the south by Kenyon and on the west by Rice comity. 
This township has some of the highest land in the county and 
is mainly an undulating prairie, but is much diversified through 
the central part by the headwaters 'of the Little Cannon and its 
tributaries. There are patches of timber in several localities. 
especially in the northeastern portion and along the Zumbro in 
the southern part. 

In the summer of 18f>4 there came to this township a young 
man named Hans Ovaldson, who broke about four acres on sec- 
tion 24. He was followed by Ole C. Oakland, who broke the 
same amount of land in section 23. The following year both 


these pioneers raised a crop of wheat. Neither of them, however, 
became permanent residents of the township. In the fall of 
1854 Jens Ottun made a claim and built a sod hut on section 
33, where he commenced breaking the land in May, 1855. On 
May 27 there arrived A. K. Finseth, K. K. Finseth, H. K. Finseth 
and Ole J. Bakke. The Finseths purchased Mr. Ottun 's claim 
and that gentleman returned to Wanamingo, where he had pre- 
viously made a claim. Mr. Bakke staked out a homestead on 
section 33 and Mrs. Bakke soon afterward joined him, she being 
doubtless the first white woman settler in the township. That 
she had her share of pioneer discomforts, not to say alarms, is 
shown by a story of the early clays that is still told in the town- 
ship. It seems that in spite of the removal of the Indians, many 
red men were prowling through that portion of the county, and 
the squaws were particularly troublesome. One day while Mrs. 
Bakke had gone to draw a pail of water an Indian squaw 
entered her cabin, and evidently concluding thai the white baby 
would make a valuable addition to her family, snatched Mrs. 
Bakke's infant and started to run. Mrs. Bakke, upon her return. 
gave a cry of alarm and hastened into the woods after the fleeing 
squaw. The babj seriously impeded the progress of the red 
woman, who was more accustomed to carrying babies on her 
back than in her arms, and finally, in fright at the pursuit, she 
dropped the infanl and continued her flight. Mrs. Bakke recov- 
ered her child and no harm was done except for the fright that 
the poor mother had fell at this attempted pioneer kidnaping. 

In the month of June. 1855, Ole O. Houset set lied on section 
23. Halvor Ennerson Vraalstad on section 27. and Thorbjorn 
Ennersoh Vraalstad on section 35. In the same year Ole 0. 
Xaeset and Erik Anderson settled on section 9, NTels Mikkelson 
Dalsbotten on section 10. and Mikkel Johnson on section 15. 
Some of these pioneers erected cabins and roofed them over, 
others erected walls but did not take time to finish the roofs, 
some lived in their covered immigrant wagons, others had even 
less shelter, the main object being to raise a crop during the 
summer months, leaving the question of permanent and com- 
fortable abode until the autumn time, when the harvest would 
be garnered in and there would be more time for home building. 
The supply of provisions which the settlers had brought with 
them was soon gone, and from time to time one of the colony 
was delegated to go to Red AYing or Hastings to procure the 
necessities of life. This journey of over thirty miles was long 
and tedious, and even dangerous, especially in winter, and even 
after trading points were reached the prices were so high as to 
be almost prohibitive. During the summer of 1855 many new 
claims were staked out. A few were occupied in the fall, but 


the majority of these claimants did not locate until the follow- 
ing spring. Among these settlers of 1855 are said to have been 
Nelson Sollefson, Thomas Anderson, Camite Thomas, John 
Thompson, Antin Anderson, G. K. Worsing and Ole Oleson. The 
first settlers of the township were Norwegians, and their sturdy 
character has since remained the predominating influence in the 
township. In the early days a number of German families settled 
in the western part of the township, and many of their descend- 
ants still remain there. 

According to the authorities now available, the first white 
child born in the township was to Mr. and Mrs. T. E. Vraalstad, 
in September, 1855. The first marriage was that of K. K. 
Finseth and Bergitte llalvorson, the ceremony being performed 
by the Eev. II. A. Stub, at the residence of the bride's father in 
Rice county, September 13, 1856. The first death was that of 
Erik A. Elton, who died in the fall of 1855 and was buried near 
the north line of section :!. An old history gives some entirely 
different facts in regard to the first birth, marriage and death, 
but upon what authority is not known. According to this old 
history, Mr. and Mrs. Lars Nelson were blessed with twins 
shortly after their arrival in the township, these twins being the 
first births in the township. The first marriage, declares the 
same authority, was that of Kettle Eriekso'n and Margaretta 
Flom, performed by Escjuire Bowies, of Cannon Falls, and the 
first death that of a child of Ole Oleson. Another authority 
says that the first child was born to Thorbjorn Ennerson. 

In 1856 a state road was surveyed through the southeast part 
of the township, and the following year Norway postoffice was 
established, with Ole (). Hauset as postmaster. Mr. Hauset 
served until his death in 1862. Some time afterward, the office 
was removed a short distance, across the line into AVanamingo 
township. About the same time Holden postoffice was estab- 
lished in the north part of the township, with T. E. Thompson 
as postmaster. Eidsvold postoifiee was established in 1875, on 
the daily mail route between Red Wing and Faribault, and Hans 
Christianson Westermo was named postmaster. In 1867 Law- 
rence Stagner opened a store in the western part of the town. 

The first two winters the township was settled were very 
severe and much hardship was endured. The winter of 1857 
was especially long, and sleighs were in use in the latter part 
of April. The crops that year, however, were good, and since 
that time the people of Holden have enjoyed almosl uninter- 
rupted prosperity. 

In the early days the township was attached to several oiher 
townships for political purposes, and in 1858. after the township 
was organized, the citizens who met at the tirst election were 


practically strangers, the people in the different localities having" 
had their previous intercourse with towns to the north, east, 
south and Avest and not with each other. Therefore each group 
of electors wanted to vote for men in their own locality, with 
whom they were acquainted. After the first two or three elec- 
tions friendly relations were established and the machinery of 
the town government has since moved harmoniously. The first 
officers were : Supervisors, K. K. Finseth (chairman). H. C. 
Klemer, Charles Nichols ; town clerk. L. K. Aakers ; assessor. C. 
Nichols: collector, Charles Fogelsang; justices of the peace, W. 
C. Crandall, Ole Oleson ; constables. Peter N. Langemo and H. 
E. Vraalstad. 

During the following four years the chairmen were K. K. 
Finseth, L. K. Aakers, Ira Babcock and L. Stagner, and the 
clerks were Lucius Oakes, A. H. Bjoraker, Peter Nelson and 
Peter Lengmoe. 

During the Civil War the aggregate amount of $14,000 was 
raised to give as a bounty to volunteers, and consequently no 
drafting was needed to fill the required quota. Those who en- 
listed from Holden were: Byron Aufmson, Lieutenant Lars K. 
Aakers, Henry Aspen. John Ericson, Henry Ericson. Filing Eng- 
berson, Joseph Fogleson. Arthur A. Flom, Andrew Hanson, Ole 
Halverson. Halver Halverson, Ole 0. Huss, George Johnson, John 
K. Lysing. Aslack Oleson. Ole' Oleson. Ole Osker. Butler Oleson, 
Edward Oleson, Edward Oleson. Olans Oleson. Thurston Opdahl, 
Christopher Peterson. Peter J. Peterson, Peter Quam. John J. 
Peterson. [ngvall Thorson. Holton 0. "Wing. Charles Zimmerman, 
Fred Zimmerman, German Anderson, Frederick Bowers, Louis 
Bratsell. Edward Boutsell, James Coburn, Andrew M. Crane, 
John Ellis, John Ferrin. Uriah Perrin, William A. Fendley, 
Robert Fairbanks. Andrew Hanson. William Harrison. Hans 
Hanson, Griffin Holmes. Ameal Hillig, James F. Hyland, James 
Isenhour, Richard M. Johnson, Norman Kinney, Thomas Ken- 
nedy, Joseph Lapaire, Samuel Murphy, H. AY. AIcGowan, Charles 
H. Parish, Sebastian Paulley, Leonard S. Ricord. Riley Sturman, 
Edwin M. Snow. AYilliam Starkey, Champion Shilling. James 
Byrne. Charles Boatman, Sydney Brownson. John Weaver, 
Thomas Ward, Abraham Zimmerman, C. AY. Zeiaka, Elling En- 
gerbretson. Fin gal Fingalson. G. Grant, Thomas Walker De- 
Ruyter Buck, Edwin Cross. Charles Farrell, John E. Jelly, Evan 
Johnson. Kaut Oleson. F. J. Ridgway. Nels Oleson. Knut Quam, 
Andrew Scott. Daniel Glenn. Alichael Hayes, Eric Bergland. 
Michael Hartman, Captain Thomas Carney, Andrew Cahill. James 
A. Lesson, Hans H. Oleson. J. L. Amundson. Ole Jacobson, Jr., 
Fred Schmidt, G. AY. Avery, Henry Knutz, Edward Kohler, 


James McDonough, .James Melehoir, Andrew Orhlin, John Birber, 
Doctor Gr. Wilkes, Albert A. Thayer, Moses Haines. 

Holden is a discontinued postoffice thirty miles southwest of 
Red Wing and five miles north of Kenyon. Mail is now received 
via Nerstrand R. P. D. No. 2. 

Nansen is a discontinued postoffice twenty-eight miles south- 
west of Bed Wing and eight miles northeast of Kenyon. Mail is 
received via Kenyon R. F. D. No. 5. 

Einseth Station is a tiag station on the Chicago & Great 
Western railway. 


Hay Creek receives its name from the stream which touches 
the west central portion of the township and along whose banks 
in the early days the settlers found large quantities of wild 
hay. The surface of the township is somewhat uneven, but is 
rich in agricultural possibilities. A deep valley crosses the town- 
ship from east to west in the northern part, and another, with 
various branches, crosses the township in the center, east and 
west. These make a hilly and rolling surface for the whole 
town, the hills being from two to four hundred feet above the 
valleys. Yet, owing to the abundant overspread of fine clay and 
loam, practically all of the surface is tillable. Many of the 
hillsides are covered with growing timber, and the valleys were 
originally heavily wooded. In the southeastern part is Wells' 
creek. Bullard creek drains the northern part. Hay Creek 
comprises township 112, range 14. and is bounded on the north 
l)y Red AVing and Wacoota, on the east by Florence, on the south 
by Belvidere and on the west by Featherstone. It was organized 
with its present boundaries in 1858. 

The first settlement was made in the spring of 1854 by a Mr. 
Egar, in the northeast part of the town. Among the early settlers 
were George Steel* Ernest Schubert, Henry Inzancee, William 
Hayman, Garry Post, David Bartrom, Simon Peterson, Benville 
Mosier, Rudolph Kruger, Charles Darling, Jacob Turner, M. 
Eggle*ston, G. F. and William Meyer, John Hack and James B. 
Wakefield. George Frederick, an early settler of Belle Creek, 
also lived here a short time in the early days. The early settlers 
were subjected to constant annoyance, the whole township, with 
the exception of a small portion in the northwest, being within 
the limits of the half-breed tract. Meetings were held and the 
settlers organized for mutual protection. Charles Alders, who 
in 1856 built a hotel near where Borkhard's hotel was later 
located, was one of the many who suffered the annoyance of a 
previous claimant. He had his first log cabin nearly completed 


when another man appeared to dispute his claim to the land. 
This man's claim was based on the fact that he had been there 
and inscribed his name on a tree previous to Mr; Abler 's advent. 
The former claimant was backed by a mob of men armed with 
clubs, axes and other weapons. So there was no alternative 
bnt for Mr. Aiders to pay the amount of money demanded for a 
relinquishment of the claim, which he did, and later opened 
his house to the public. There are always two sides to every 
question, and while Mr. Aiders was given a great deal of sym- 
pathy, it would look in modern times as though he had intended 
to take another man's claim. He was but one of many who 
suffered much inconvenience and trouble until the half-breed 
matter had been settled in Washington, after which the actual 
settlers were left in peace. 

The first town meeting was held in 1858, with only six citizens 
present. They were William Ilayman, Henry Lorentzen. S. A. 
Wise, J. B. "Wakefield. Rudolph Kruger and David Bartrom. 
This meeting was held in a log cabin schoolhouse, near Wells' 
creek. The explanation given for the poor attendance is one 
that looks strange in these days. It seems that a camp meeting 
was in progress in a grove near by and the people were so inter- 
ested in matters pertaining to the future life that they had no 
time to devote to such temporal affairs as a town election. 
Whether the six who attended loved religion the less or politics 
the more than the others tradition does not relate. 

A log schoolhouse was built near the spot where the Wells' 
creek mills were afterward erected, in 1857, and a school was 
taught there by a young man named Graves. The first marriage 
was that of Ernest Schubert and a Miss Reinehart, the cere- 
mony being performed by William Hayman. justice of the peace. 
In the earliest days the German Lutherans and the Methodists 
held meetings and both later erected comfortable places for 
church worship. Near the center of the township there is a 
substantial town hall. In 1863 R. H. Matthews built a mill on 
Wells' creek, and in 1865 John Hack and G. F. Meyer built one 
on Hay creek. Later a third mill was built on Hay creek, but was 
afterward abandoned. • 

The chairmen of supervisors of the town from 1858 to 1869 
were : Samuel A. Wise, William Hayman. John Benson, Dunning 
Dewey (six terms). Rudolph Kruger (two terms), George Hack- 
man. The town clerks during the same period were: Henry 
Lorentzen (two terms), John Hack (six terms), Peter J. Erbar 
(five terms). 

Hay Creek's contribution to the Civil War consisted of 
Joseph W. Britton. Fred Baumbeck. Henry Burgtorf, Reynolds 
Barton, August Buchholz, Henry W. Cady, W. F. Dewey. C. J. 


Henning, Augusl B. Hilleg, James D. Hill, .John Hennings, An- 
drew Johnson, Rudolph Kruger, Elias F. Kimball. Michael 
Stahler, .J. G. Sc1k.11. Jonathan Thorns, William Thorns, Charles 
Truman, Josiah Wakefield, Alonzo C. Wakefield; Peter Wallower, 
Nicholas Gross, Nicholas Oleson. ( linton G. Stees, Manville Le- 
Weir, Anthony Stevens. Robert Millie, Leundre Isenhour, Alfred 
Dudley, dames R. Goodhue, Thomas Gready, John Hankins, 
Edward Lent. Peter McMartin, William F. Schmidt, William 
Smith. Lawrence Twohy, Andrew Johnson, Henry Webert, Henry 
Straitman. David Fresmith, Lars Oleson, Jacob Turner, Fred 
Westendoff, John J. Dewey, Fritz Klauser, William Piute and 
Christian Sempiel. 

Hay Creek village is a discontinued postoffice six and a half 
miles south of Red Wing. Mail is received by Red Wing R. F. 
D. Nos. 2 and 4. It is a busy little settlement, with a hotel, 
store, church, schoolhouse and several residences. 


Leon constitutes government township 11, range 17, and is 
bounded on the north by Cannon Falls, on the east by. Belle 
Creek, on the south by Wanamingo and on the west by Warsaw. 
It is drained by branches of the Little Cannon in the northwest- 
ern portion, these streams causing the land to be somewhat 
broken in that locality. In the valleys there is a light growth 
of timber. The eastern part of the township is drained by the 
waters of Belle creek. The soil is rich and causes Leon to be 
one of the most desirable farming sections of the county. The 
people are educated and progressive, being for the most part 
Americans of Norwegian and Swedish descent, although a few 
of the sturdy old pioneers of Norwegian and Swedish birth still 
remain to tell the story of their early struggles to their children. 
Of Leon it has been truthfully said: "Its cultivated fields, pos- 
sessing a soil of marvelous fertility, its broad acres of arable 
land, its timber and water, beautiful residences, barns and 
granaries, flocks and herds, and finally the health and general 
prosperity of its inhabitants, are the living evidences of a section 
of country rich in natural resources and abounding in happy 

The first settler, Haldro Johnson, a Norwegian, came here 
from Dane county, Wisconsin, in the fall of 1854. He made 
a claim on section 20, built a rude cabin and spent the winter 
there. The following spring he went back to Wisconsin, and 
married, bringing his bride with him to the new country, where 
tliey were to establish their rooftree and live in happiness. In the 
summer of 1855 came the following Scandinavians and their fami- 


lies : A. J. Rlalande, Andrew Larson, Gutrom Pederson, Ole Peder- 
son, J. Wamberg, John Bottolfson. M. Edstrom. C. A. Haggstrom, 
William Olson and Rognold Johnson. They at once staked out 
claims and broke the land, most of which still remains in the 
possession of the families of the original claimants. In 1856 
came Albert, Calvin, Samuel, David and Horace McGaughey, 
F. F. Dimmick, James Cox, Seth Davis. Charles A. Johnson, 
William Greaves and Ellery Stone with his sons. The eastern 
people who settled in the central and southeastern part of this 
township in the early days did not as a rule remain long, and 
consequently few of their names have been handed down to 
posterity in this county, although several attained prominence 
in the localities where they afterward settled. 

Frank Johnson, born May 8, 1856, and died September 7 the 
same year, was the first white child born and the first person 
to die in the township. The first school was taught in 1857 by 
Daniel Van Amberg, in a log schoolhouse near where William 
Olson afterward took up his residence. 

Among the early settlers came H. Ferrell, who laid claim to 
a section of land and surveyed and laid out town lots, naming 
the place Wastedo. His dreams of a future great city were not 
realized, and a larger part of the village plat is now devoted 
in farms. In 1857 E. A. Sargent built a store and stocked it with 
general merchandise, and the next year Martin Thompson built 
another store. Blacksmith shops were opened in 1857 and 1865. 
In more recent years the store of M. T. Opsal at this point became 
the trading center of the town. The postoffice at Wastedo was 
discontinued some years ago and Cannon Falls R. F. D. No. 1 
was substituted. 

Of Leon, thirty years ago, it was written: "The township is 
now inhabited almost exclusively by a steady, industrious class 
of people, natives of Norway and Sweden, and their descendants, 
the Norwegians residing principally in the southwestern portion 
of the township, and the Swedes in the northeastern. They are 
all, or nearly all. citizens of the United States, and as their inter- 
ests are thoroughly identified with the land of their adoption, 
they take a deep interest in the political and social welfare of 
the country. Many of them are men of wide education and abil- 
ity, some of them having represented their districts in one or both 
branches of the state legislature, while others have filled local 
positions of trust and honor." This is no less true today. 

To the Civil War Leon contributed the following soldiers: 
George Brockman, Charles Berdan. A. J. Bailey, W. D. Bryant, 
Ephraim A. Bard, Harry Bristol. John Banks, Lewis Butterson, 
David E. Burden. Edwin Cox, Almeran Davis, Peter Froyd. II. 
M. McGaughey, Eward G. Bailey, Elec Albertson. Christian Lud- 



wigson, Morris Harrison, John Ehrichson, Knute Oleson, Ellery 
Stone, Andrew McCausland, AVilliam H. Druping, Andrew Eric- 
son, B. F. S. Ives, C. II. Bullock, Charles H. Bond, George H. 
( ross, Norman Daniels, Sidney Deming, William II. Ganis, Will- 
iam L. Kenyon, Andrew Morrison, John Stanton, A. H. Van Voor- 
hies, Lyman Waldon, George "Wells, Peter A. Holm, John Johnson, 
Yors Larson, Fred Miller, James Swerger, Oscar L. Stranahan, 
H. M. Stranahan, Matthew Sidmore, Newell J. Sumner, F. H. 
Shaw, James G. Wiley, Fenn Iswell, Joseph E. Smith, Charles 
Barcow, Henry Fane, Peter Mewrer, Fred Mohrmann, Xavier 
Demarra, William Zime, Ole Loe, Smith Martenas, Thor Oleson, 
Thomas Cramwill, James < 'onroy, A. P. Oliver, L. G. Price and 

D. Van Amberg. 

July 5, 1858, the first township election was held in the store 
of E. A. Sargent. Mr. Sargent was clerk of election and A. E. 
McGaughey was the forwarding clerk. Fifty votes were polled? 
•From that time until 1879 the officers were as follows, the first 
named of the supervisors under each year being the chairman : 
Supervisors, 1859, Ellery Stone, George Seassons, William Olson; 
1860, S. X. McGaughey. John Ingebrightsen, J. Vanderberg; 1861, 
Alexander Merritt, A. Larson, J. K. Stranahan; 1862, Alexander 
Merritt, John Ingebrightsen, Seth Davis ; 1863, James McGinnis, 
A. Larson, F. I. Collins; 1864, Alexander Merritt, S. Anderson, 

A. Larson; 1865, Alexander Merritt, K. J. Onstad, Fred Miller; 
1866. Thomas Balfour. John Ingebrightsen, John B. Lee; 1867, 

E. D. Stone. John Ingebrightsen, Fred Miller; 1868, F. F. Dim- 
mick, John B. Lee. Charles Holm; 1869, William Greaves, E. D. 
Stone, S. Anderson; 1870, S. Anderson, F. I. Johnson. E. D. 
Stone; 1871, E. D. Stone. Charles Anderson, John B. Lee; 1872, 
E. D. Stone, James B. Lee, Charles Anderson; 1873-1877, E. D. 
Stone, Charles Anderson, T. S. Medje, 1877, Thomas Balfour, 
John Haggstrom, Charles Edstrom; 1878, John Haggstrom, Nils 
Skog, Knut K. Hougo. Clerks, 1858, George F. Sargent; 1859-61, 
E. G. Bailey; 1861-63, E. A. Sargent; 1863-65, D. Van Amberg; 
1865, E. A. Sargent; 1866-68, E. G. Bailey; 1868, Thomas Balfour; 
1869-73, M. T. Opsal ; 1873, John Edstrom. Assessors, F. F. Dim- 
miek, Fred Miller, John Surratt, F. F. Dimmick, D. Van 
Amberg, Nere Holgeson, S. Anderson, C. J. Wing. Ed. L. Otter- 
ness, Mons S. Frevig. Collector, E. D. Stone, 1869-60. Treas- 
urers. William Olson, E. Stone. AVilliam Olson, Ed. L. Otterness, 
M. T. Opsal. Justices of the peace. D. C. Stranalian. S. X. Mc- 
Gaughey. James McGinnis, M. Bryant, J. K. Stranahan, Ira Bab- 
cock, E. A. Sargent, Fred Miller. John Miller, M. Bryant. A. A. 
Flom, John Miller. Constables. E. D. Stone, 0. L. Stranahan. 

B. F. Davis, John Lagerstrom, H. P. Davis. A B. Crow, John 
Lagerstrom. A. Olson, H. M. Stranahan, B. P. Davis. Jonathan 


Poe, J. A. Holm, H. M. Stranahan, 0. S. Urevig, John A. Holm, 
D. E. Berdan, 0. S. Urevig, John Lewis, O. S. Urevig, P. J. 
Peterson, Ed. Berdan, K. K. Hougo, J. Helm. 

The oldest church in the township is the Spring Garden 
Swedish Evangelical Lutheran church. The Urland congregation 
of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran church was organized in 
the winter of 1871. 

In 1859 the Rev. Mr. Barnes organized a Presbyterian church, 
and during the following year the Methodist people perfected an 
organization, but both of these attempts expired, owing to lack 
of support. 

George Wright Matchan, deceased, will long be remembered 
for his sterling worth and noble Christian character. One of a 
family of fourteen children, he was bom at Hilton. Yorkshire, 
England. August 8, 1830. in the house where his parents settled 
at their marriage, and where both died, after a continuous resi- 
dence of more than sixty years of happy life. Here was spent 
his boyhood and early manhood, and in April. 1850. he married 
Mary Ann Shields, daughter of William and Frances (Miller) 
Shields, also born a1 his native place. April, 1858, the family 
consisting of Mr. and .Mrs. Matchan and three young sons, George. 
Robert and William, emigrated to Canada, taking passage in a 
sailing vessel of the type of thai day. After a stormy, trying 
voyage of forty-nine days at sea, l hey landed at Quebec, from 
whence they went to Farmersville. Ontario, subsequently settling 
on a farm near the village of Green Bush, about twelve miles 
westerly from Brockville. on the St. Lawrence. Here were born 
to them two children. Alinira and Edward. April, 1864, the 
family ('migrated to the United States, living for a few months 
at Waukesha, Wis. During the summer of 1864 Mr. Matchan, 
leaving his family at Waukesha to follow later, started for Min- 
nesota in quest of a home, and in the fall of that year rented 
the farm of James Seofield, in the town of Roscoe, where his 
family joined him. remaining until the spring of 1866, and where 
was born to them another daughter, Laura. The summer and 
winter of 1866-7, they lived on the farm of T. D. Rowell, east 
of the village of Zumbrota, moving thence to the farm lying 
soiithwesterly from Zumbrota village, in the town of Roscoe, 
which Mr. Matchan had purchased in the fall of 1865 of Josiah 
Thompson, then living at Zumbrota. This farm consisted of 160 
acres, for which he agreed to pay $800, paying $100 cash and 
$100 per annum, with interest at ten per cent. Here were born 
to them another daughter, Annie, and a son, "Wesley. 

Many were the trials and great the discouragements encoun- 
tered before the final victory over debt and necessary farm bet- 
terments, but the good old farm yielded not only a comfortable 

ruis *■• ■ 

' *• 



George W. Matchan 

***- PWnt 1 - 

Mrs. George W. Matchax 




living for the family during all the years of its subjugation and 
improvement, but in response to good cultivation made possible 
the purchase of an additional eighty acres adjoining, at a much 
greater price per acre than its own first cost, and the building 
of a hue home in the village of Zumbrota, at a cost, including the 
lands, of over $5,000, to which the family, then consisting of 
himself, wife, Annie and Wesley, removed, remaining until the 
fall of 1906, when, because of declining years and health, he sold 
with the idea of purchasing a home of less size, where he and the 
wife and mother might pass the last years of their lifetime with 
the least care and responsibility. In this respect, however, his 
calculations were defeated. He died at the home of his dauedi- 
ter, Mrs. Laura Secore, Red Wing, February .">. 1907. At the 
tillage home above mentioned, April. 1900. Mr. and Mrs. Matchan 
celebrated the fiftieth (golden) anniversary of their wedding, at 
which were in attendance all of their eight children, the wives 
of those married, all their grandchildren and most of their 
nephews and nieces, numbering in all fifty-five persons. Mr. 
Matchan from his early boyhood was identified with the Meth- 
odist church, being one of the few original organizers of the 
First Methodist Episcopal church at* Zumbrota, with which he 
was identified as member, and in one and another official capac- 
ity, until the time of his death. Mr. Matchan was a man of 
positive character and intense conviction, clinging at all cost 
to the right, frowning publicly and privately upon that he con- 
sidered wrong. His word once given was sacred, and no incon- 
venience or sacrifice was too great for him to suffer that he 
might fulfill the simplest promise. He g left surviving him five 
sons and three daughters, and his wife. Mary Ann. 

The oldest son, George L., is a prominent attorney residing 
at the city of Minneapolis. The second son, Robert D.. a well 
known physician and surgeon, also resident of Minneapolis, 
where for two decades he has continuously occupied the chair 
of surgery in the homeopathic department of the medical school 
of the State University of Minnesota. The third son, William, 
resides at Milton, N. D., where he is engaged in the lumber and 
grain business. A daughter, Almira Osborne, resides at Payette. 
Idaho. Edward M. resides on the old home farm in Roscoe, 
where he is making good both as a farmer and citizen. Laura, 
wife of J. A. Secore, resides at the city of Anoka, where her hus- 
band occupied the important position of superintendent of the 
department of manual training in the public schools of that city. 
Annie, wife of Rupert Staiger, resides at Zumbrota. where they 
own their home and large grounds, which represent no inconsid- 
erable increment indicative of their thrift and future prosperity. 
Wesley G., the youngest of the eight, was a graduate of the 


medical department of the State University, and for eight years 
and more until his death, occupied an envious position in his 
chosen profession in the city of Bismarck, capital of our sister 
state of North Dakota, where he died July 21, 1909, cut off be- 
fore reaching the prime of his manhood, for he was less than 
thirty-three years of age at the time of his death. He had never- 
theless, by persistent effort and consistent living, attained a 
standing in his profession and in business and social circles of 
his home city, not often reached by men of maturer years, and 
because of his manly character and genial kindly nature, his 
death was mourned by the entire community, men, women and 
children, representing all walks in life, pausing at his bier for 
that last look of homage to the memory of their dead friend. 
The wife, mother, widow, now seventy-five years of age, residing 
at the old, new, village, Zumbrota, sad because of the loss of her 
loved ones, yet contentedly happy in the reflection of their vic- 
tories and in the possession of the respect, affection and love of 
all her living offspring, relatives and friends, which are legion. 
She still works while waiting, firmly secure in the knowledge, 
resulting from a life of practiced Christian faith and works, that 
the future holds for her only good, gleaning in her declining 
years the honey of the flower of a life well spent, basking in the 
sunshine of the hope of the meeting in that great beyond, where 
awaits for such as she, life eternal, and the "well done, thou 
good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy lord." 
The homely, trustful, energetic, faithful life work of these 
two old Goodhue county pioneers will shine forth in the pages 
of this history of the achievements of those who made Goodhue 
county what she is, in the galaxy of stars which make up the 
great state of Minnesota, as a guide for others here and to come, 
to whom is left the completion of a great work so inauspiciously 


Minneola, originally a part of Zumbrota township, but organ- 
ized separately in June, I860, comprises township 110, range 16, 
and is bounded on the north by Belle Creek, on the east by 
Zumbrota, on the south by Koscoe and on the west by Wana- 
.mingo. It is crossed, east to west, by the north branch of the 
Zumbro, which is augmented along its winding course by springs 
and rivulets which supply the township with plenty of water, 
making the farms well adapted for agriculture and stock raising. 
The surface has great changes of level. The highest land is in 
the northwestern part of the town and the lowest is in the 
valley near the village of Zumbrota in the southeastern part. 
The changes, however, except in the immediate descents into the 


Zunibro valley, are gradual, making in general an undulating 
surface. The soil is rich, deep and fertile. In several portions 
are a few natural groves of forest trees, and shade trees surround 
many of the houses, adding beauty and sheltering houses and 
barns from storms. 

The first claim in the township was made by Christian Peter- 
son on section 26 in May, 1855. Mr. Peterson erected a rude 
hut of brush, banked with sod, which did service during the 
summer while he was breaking the land and planting the first 
crop. In the fall he improved this habitation with the addition 
of some boards. In June of the same year John Mabee and A. 
C. Erstad arrived, and shared with Mr. Peterson the rigors of 
that first winter in what was practically an unbroken wilder- 
ness. Mabee located his claim on section 35, where he lived until 
the spring of 1856, when he returned to Norway. Erstad made 
his claim on section 26, and in 1856 occupied the deserted claim 
of Mabee, which he continued to make his home and where he 
later erected a beautiful residence, In 1856 there came a number 
of other settlers, among whom were Daniel Eames, the Swenson 
brothers and Julius Peck, and probably, according to an ancient 
authority, Andrew Christopherson as well. Mr. Peck had the 
distinction of having brought into the township the first pair of 
horses. Previous to this time oxen had been the only beasts of 
burden in the township, being used for plowing, for draught 
purposes, and even for conveying the pioneers from place to 
place. Daniel Eames died in 1859, his being the first death in 
the township. The first birth in the township was that of Eddie 
Crowell in 1857. Another early birth was that of a child to 
Albra Twombley. also in 1857. Church service was held by the 
Rev. Charles Shedd early in 1856, soon after his arrival. The 
first marriage Avas that of George Rees and Harriet Wightman, 
June, 1858. The first school was taught by Charles Locke in 
the home of Julius Peck. This school was supported by private 
subscription, there being at that time no regularly organized 
school district. A public school was taught by Mrs. Daniel 
Eames in her own house. 

A tragedy of the early days occurred in July, 1862. A violent 
thunder storm arose, during which time a bolt of lightning fell 
upon the house of A. J. Grover, striking the roof and parting, 
a portion of the electricity passing down the roof and the other 
portion to the person of Mrs. Grover, who was in a chamber, 
killing her instantly. The other persons in the house were not 
so seriously injured, though severely shocked. The house was 
also set on fire, but prompt assistance saved il from destruction. 

In 1856 a flouring mill was built by the .Messrs. Nichols and 
Ford in the southeastern part of the town, on the Zumbro. 


Another mill was erected, probably by the Messrs. Nelson and 
Olson, about six miles above the first mill, located on the ljne 
between Minneola and Wanamingo. 

In 1867 the Norwegian Lutherans erected the first frame 
church, in the southeast corner of the township, at a cost of 
$3,500, with a seating capacity of about 500 people. The first 
minister was the Rev. B. A. Muus. The same denomination later 
built another large church in the northern part of the town. 

The Methodists organized a society in 1868. Later German 
Lutheran and German Methodist churches were organized. Rev. 
Mr. Walton preached an early sermon in the home of Daniel 
Eames. Mary Dickey was an early school teacher. In 1871 
a schoolhouse was erected on section 23, and was first taught in 
by John Aldrieh. A company composed of Ezra Wilder, H. H. 
Palmer, T. P. Kellett and others built, in the early days, a large 
cheese factory on section 26, within the limits of this township. 

The township was first united with Zumbrota under one 
organization. The first supervisors were I. < \ Stearns, T. D. 
Rowell and George Sanderson. In December, 1859, a notice was 
posted in several places, requesting the voters living in township 
110, range 16. to meet on the fifteenth of that month at the resi- 
dence 1 of Daniel Eames to take into consideration the expediency 
of a separate organization, choose a name for the town, and if 
deemed best, to elect the necessary officers for doing town busi- 
ness. At the meeting held in accord with the order, N. Mulliken 
was called to the chair and J. B. Locke chosen secretary. The 
names of Paris and Minneola were presented for consideration. 
Tin 1 latter was finally agreed upon as the name for the new 
organization. Minneola is an Indian term, signifying "much 
water." There were thirty-two voters present, and it was de- 
cided to elect town officers. This election resulted in the follow- 
ing officers: Supervisors, -I. B. Locke ('chairman), Brant Thomp- 
son. J. (lark: clerk, R. Person; assessor. Henry E. Shedd; 
justices. A. J. Grover and N. Mulliken ; constables, AY. B. Williams 
and E. L. Kingsbury. A. J. Grover and J. B. Locke were ap- 
pointed a committee to present this action to the county board. 
They did so, but the matter was deferred by that board until 
both townships could act on the matter. The township of Zum- 
brota. at its annual meeting in the spring of 1860, approved of 
the separation. The organization was perfected by a meeting 
held at the home of J. B. Locke June 18, 1860. 

The following men enlisted from Minneola during the Civil 
War: Charles Adams, Morgan Abel. Arthur Brown, Cyrus B. 
Chase. Steven G. Cady. John H. Docker. Christ Eastman, Grinnell 
Pales, Hans Halvorson. Bottel Larson. Halvor Ockelbey, Claus 
Oleson, William N. Peck, Elizur Peck, Peter Peterson, Morris 


Rees, Ole E. Strand, Torkel Swenson, Ole E. Strand, Lieutenant 
William B. Williams, David AVightman, Thomas Corcoran, Bap- 
t iste Cardingle, Joseph Delaney, Pierce Garvais, Baptiste Garvais, 
Francis A. Hamlin, Levi Label, Jr., Horace AY. Moore, John McWill- 
iams, William H. Nourse, Bonde Oleson, Erastus Pierce, Xavier 
Paul, Timothy Shearer, Charles Carter, Carl Schlenty, William 
Payne, Frank Stroback, Jacob Mosbrugger, Atlas Marshall, Ed- 
ward Trowbridge, Walter B. Boyd, Amos Eastman, Patrick Killen, 
Charles S. Spendley, Alfred B. Tyler, Peter Akers, August 
Beckard, AYilliam Plumb, Christopher L. Johnson, Lars Johnson, 
Martin Johnson, Barnt Thompson, AYilliam M. Farnham, Philip 
Sudheimer, Charles Strong. 


Kenyon lies in the southeast corner of Goodhue county, and 
comprises township 112, range 18. It is the highest township in 
the county, and has an undulating surface which was originally 
almost wholly prairie. The north branch of the Zumbro flows 
through the northwestern part, and along this stream there are 
several groves of young trees. There are occasional small 
sloughs, with turf-peat, in the uplands, but in the summer seasons 
they are dry and furnish a coarse hay. Deep, fertile soil pre- 
vails generally throughout the township. 

As the early settlement was all in the northern and north- 
western part, the early history of the township and village is 
practically identical. In 1855 came a number of settlers, among 
them being L. A. Felt. Chris and Sever Halvorson, L. N. Bye, N. 
Hollenbeck and a man named Natice. These were soon followed 
by J. H. Day, Addison and E. B. Hilton. James Browley, S. A. 
Baker, Stephen Bullis, 0. S. Gunhus, 0. E. Erickson and AY. B. 
Burnham. Successive crops of untouched prairie grass had hard- 
ened the sward, and the early settlers had much difficulty in 
breaking the glebe. But they set to work' with courage, and soon 
the wilderness was fruitful with the crops which the rich soil 

In May, 1856, James H. Day and James M. LeDuc claimed the 
land on which the village now stands, and subsequently I wo men 
named Howe and Hilton became part owners <>\' the land. By 
these four men, the village was laid out and plaited. James H. 
Day erected the first residence in June, 185t>. and a store building 
was erected the same year. This was occupied by Crowley & 
Baker as a general store. Stephen Bullis built the firsl hotel in 
March, 1857, and during the same year a steam saw mill was 

constructed. Town and village are named from one of ll arly 



The first death occurred in the summer of 1857, Lydia Gross 
being unable to withstand the rigors of pioneer life. The first 
birth was that of George, son of W. B. Burnham, born in the 
spring of 1857. The first marriage was that of Freeman Colla- 
more and Mary Bullis, in January, 1858. The first school was 
taught in the winter of 1857 by W. S. Bill, who also conducted 
the first religious services. 

According to the official lists, those who enlisted in the Civil 
War from Kenyon were: John Bury, David Bury, Frederick 
Bury, John Bury, Jr., Freeman F. Collamore, Ole Engerbretson, 
Austin P. Felt, Lieut. Roscoe Hilton, Clark Harding, Thomas L. 
Johnson. Lars Neilson, Ole Otterson, Albert Otterson, Halvo 
Tolfson, Alvin H. Wiggins, Thomas Erickson, Chi us Hoist, Joseph 
Hoist. Jacob Hoist. C. D. Harding, Frederick Lachner, Lewis 
Mohler, B. E. Olin, Thomas H. Britton, Knut Otterson, Carl Han- 
son, T. Pi. Bullis. Simeon Elcock, William A. Parry, William 
H. Hill, Henry < '. < lollina, Peter Rourk. Peter Johnson, John Lind- 
quist, George Bossout, Andrew Some, John Muckenham, S. H. 
Bohannolm and William Stanchfield. 

The township was organized May 15, 1858, and the following 
officers were elected: Supervisors, A. Hilton (chairman), S. Bul- 
lis and W. B. Burnham: town clerk, S. A. linker; justices of the 
peace. J. H. Day and C. G. Averell; assessor, D. F. Harley; col- 
lector, L. A. Felt ; constables, D. F. Harley and AY. F. ( "lapp ; over- 
seer of the poor, F. Day. 

Four churches supplied the religious demands of the people 
in the early days. In 1870, the Norwegian Lutherans erected on 
section 5, a stone church capable of seating 600 people. It was 
one of the congregations of the Rev. B. J. Minis. On section 7, 
another Norwegian Lutheran church, a stone building with a 
seating capacity of 400 people, was erected in 1872. The first 
Baptist church was organized May 4, 1867, with seven members. 
In 1873 the Rev. Mr. Dubois of the Episcopal church held service 
at the village and in 1875 an organization was perfected, with 
the following officers: Wardens, Dr. A. W. Hewitt and E. R. 
Marshall; vestrymen, S. A. Bullis, B. D. Bullis. William Elcock 
and William Turner. A church capable of holding 200 people 
was erected in 1875 and dedicated July 25, 1876. Originally the 
population of the township was largely Norwegian, and that of 
the village American, but at the present time Americans of Nor- 
wegian descent or birth predominate throughout both town and 
village. Aside from the village of Kenyon, there are two stations 
in the township, both on the line of the Chicago and Great West- 
ern. They are Bakko and Skyberg. 

Kenyon Village lies thirty- five miles southwest of Red Wing 
on the Zumbro river and the C. G. W. and C. M. & St. Paul rail- 


ways. It is incorporated and has a population of 1,300. It has 
three hotels, two banks, a creamery, a flour mill, three grain ele- 
vators, a canning factory, an electric light plant, water works, an 
opera house, a well equipped fire department, a good graded 
school. The churches are: The Episcopal, Baptist, Methodist, 
German Methodist, German Lutheran and Norwegian Lutheran. 
There are two weekly papers published, the Leader and the News. 
There are two telegraph companies, one express company, the 
Wells, Fargo & Co., and one telephone company. 



Pine Island Township and Village — Progressive and Prosperous 
— Roscoe — Stanton — Vasa — Wacoota — Wanamingo — Wana- 
mingo Village — Warsaw — Dennison Village — Welch. 

When the first hardy pioneers penetrated the wilderness as 

far as the site of the present villain' of Pine Island in the early 
fifties, they found a beautiful spot called by the Indians "Wa-zu- 
wee-ta," which translated into English means •"Island of Pines," 
and here, owing to its natural advantages of wood and running 
water, combined with deep and fertile soil, the early settlers, in 
search of homes, stopped and built their cabins; and the erstwhile 
wilderness rapidly assumed the proportions of a center of civili- 
zation for a large surrounding country. 

The term "Wa-zu-wee-ta," or Island of Pines, referred to a 
strip of land on the south side of the river reaching from about 
where Main street now is well upon Newton's hill, which was 
heavily timbered with stalely white pines and was completely 
surrounded by a heavy growth of hardwood timber. This spot 
was a favorite resort of the Dakotah Indians, and here, in their 
skin tepees, they used to pass the cold months, sheltered from 
winter's storms by the surrounding hills and the heavy timber, 
through which roamed untold numbers of deer and elk. 

The Indian name was so appropriate that it was retained, but 
' Wa-zu-wee-ta, " or Island of Pines, was too large a mouthful 
for the taciturn pioneers and the name speedily became Pine 
Island. A pretty story is told of Chief Wacoota. then at the head 
of the Red Wing band of Dakotah Indians, that when he was 
asked by the United States commissioners to sign the treaty that 
would require his people to relinquish their homes on the Missis- 
sippi river, replied that he would willingly sign if he could have 
his future home at Pine Island. 

The town is located on sections 31 and 32 of township 109, 
range 15, and is as above indicated, the early settlers found a 
eountry heavily wooded, for the most part with hardwood timber 
and watered by the middle branch of the Zumbro, which divides 
in what is now the eastern part of the village, the north branch 



flowing directly through the town and the south branch passing 
the south. 

It is generally understood thai II. B. Powers was the first man 
who came and built his cabin in This town in the year 1854. A 
close second was Josiah Haggard, a youth of nineteen or twenty 
years, who came the same spring, located a claim and built his 
cabin about where the residence of Dr. Charles Hill now stands. 
This claim was jumped by a man named Howard, and Haggard 
crossed the Zumbro and made his second claim of land now cov- 
ered by business blocks and residences. Hoses Jewell and his 
son, Solomon, came the next fall and the former pre-empted the 
Haggard claim, the owner ha vino- made but a half-hearted at- 
tempt to fulfil the conditions of the law. .Moses Jewell returned 
to Wisconsin for the wilder, leaving here his son. Solomon, who 
has been a resident of the community almost continuously since 
that time and still owns a large tract of the original Moses Jewell 
pre-emption. Nelson Denison, another pioneer, pre-empted a 
claim farther east the same season and a large number of settlers 
arrived in that and the following seasons. Among these Giles and 
George Hayward, W. S. Newton, J. A. Tarbox, Philip and Henry 
Tome. John Lee, John ('lance. Sylvester Dickey. C. R. White and 
others. Moses Jewell and family occupied a log house about 
where White street now crosses Main street, and there the first 
marriage took place between his daughter, Sarah, and A. B. Cron, 
July 13, 1856. although another marriage was solemnized at about 
the same time between II. B. Powers, the young settler, and Mary 
E. Miller. At about this time 'autumn of 1856) the first school 
was organized in a log building about where the Citizens State 
Bank now stands, with Annette Seek as teacher. Other schools 
were established in the vicinity shortly afterward, among which 
was one taught by Thomas McManus. The first school building 
was erected the following year near the Geo. Paige residence on 
the north side of the river. John Salmon was the first preacher 
and held services at the homes of the settlers. The first child 
born in the community was Martha Cron. now Mrs. S. P. Collins. 
The first death was that of Michael Horn in the winter of 1856. 
In 1856 Haggard & Hayward began the erection of a saw mill 
under the supervision of Rice Hamlin, a young Pennsylvania 
millwright, and the father of Charles and Henry Hamlin, who 
later became prominent in the affairs of the village. Tins mill 
was run in the early years by Dowry & Powers and about 200,- 
000 feet of lumber was manufactured. In 1858, the mill was sold • 
to A. J. Tarbox, and later passed into the possession of AY. AY. 
Cutshall. who continued to operate it until about 1902. when it 
was dismantled on account of the scarcity of saw timber. In 


the late sixties a steam Hour mill was erected on the bank of the 
river below the saw mill by Tarbox & Jewell, but several years 
ago, after a checkered history, it was pulled down and the ma- 
chinery and lumber was sold. Another flour mill was built on 
the water power just below the confluence of the two branches 
of the Zumbro by a man named Jacobs and for a number of years 
did a flourishing business, but in 1876 it was burned and was never 
rebuilt. The dam was shortly afterward carried out and the land 
formerly covered by the waters of the mill pond have since be- 
come valuable for pasturage. 

Pine Island Village was surveyed and platted in the winter of 
1856-57, on land owned by John (lance, Moses Jewell and J. A. 
Tarbox. For many years the principal business part of the vil- 
lage was on the north side of the river and grew rapidly to a 
flourishing business point. The business portion of the village, 
however, gradually moved southward, until at the present time 
nearly all the business houses of the village are on the south side 
of the river. 

The first hotel was built by E. Denison in 1857 and old settlers 
still remember how the ladies of the village plied their needles 
for days to supply the new hotel with the necessary bed and table 
linen. John Lee had previously built a hotel on the old St. Paul- 
Dubuque road near where Poplar Grove church now stands and 
the landlord was also postmaster of the place, but the fact of the 
existence of the hotel or postoffice is now scarcely remembered. 
The early settlers received their scanty mail from Oronoco, where 
a settlement had existed for a number of years, but in 1856 a 
postoffice was established with John Clance as postmaster. J. A. 
Tarbox. las. McManus, S. S. Worthing, Fletcher Hagler, Chas. 
Parker, Henry Hamlin, Henry Tome and George II. Tome have 
since held this responsible position, the last named gentleman be- 
ing the present incumbent. 

The Avar history of the village and the country immediately 
surrounding it. could it be written in full, would make interest- 
ing reading. It has been said, probably with more or less justice, 
that Pine Island has furnished more soldiers to the government 
in proportion to the size of the place, than any town in the coun- 
try. Be that as it may, it is a fact that of the Minnesota regi- 
ments which took part in the Civil war and the Sioux war of 
j 863-4. Pine Island was liberally represented in all. with the 
possible exception of the Ninth Infantry, while a number enlisted 
with Wisconsin regiments. Again in 1898 the young men of Pine 
Island responded to call to arms, and a few found soldiers' graves 
in distant lands. 

In the spring of 1878 the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad 


Company built a branch line through the village, giving the peo- 
ple of the village and surrounding country much needed trans- 
portation facilities. In the early days the only means of trans- 
portation was by wagon over the rough country roads, and the 
nearest markets were Red Wing and Lake City on the river. In 
1902 the Great Western Railroad Company, having purchased the 
Duluth, Red Wing and Southern railroad from Red Wing to 
Zumbrota, extended the line through this place to Rochester, con- 
necting with their line at that place, so that at present the rail- 
road service enjoyed by the people of this vicinity is nearly all 
that could be desired. In the spring of 1878 the village of Pine 
Island was incorporated and separated from the township. The 
first council to serve the village was composed of the following: 
President, Charles Hill; trustees, Messrs. Dickey, Thompson and 
Lowery; recorder, G. II. Glidden. In 1899 the people voted bonds 
in the sum of $6,000 and installed an excellent system of water- 
works. Water is obtained from a well drilled in the solid rock 
and located beneath the mill power house and power for pump- 
ing is obtained from the mill power engine. The water mains 
have since been extended so as to afford city water and fire pro- 
tection to nearly every portion of the village. An electric light 
plant was installed at the mill in 1899 by Loomis F. Irish and 
electricity is now being used in all parts of the village, both for 
public and private lighting. The year 1900 saw the beginning of 
the present excellent telephone system, when Thomas II. Bunn 
put in a small switchboard and built a few miles of line. The 
system has grown rapidly and now penetrates all parts of the 
village and many miles into the surrounding country in all direc- 
tions. Pine Island is justly proud of its schools. From the log 
shack of 1857 the school moved to a brick school building erected 
in 1864, built on the site of the present school building, but this; 
building was outgrown and a commodious wooden building took 
its place, in 1883. This building served its purpose admirably for 
many years, but the school again outgrew its quarters and in 1904- 
an additional building of brick was erected at a cost of .$10,500. 
This building furnishes quarters for the high school and tin- 
seventh, eighth and ninth grades, library, gymnasium, labora- 
tories and several class rooms. Out from these schools a number 
of men and women have gone who have attained a high place in 
the work of the world. A few notable examples are a United 
States diplomatic representative now stationed in Spain, a 
representative in Congress, a professor at Harvard Uni- 
versity, several men in the United States civil service, and teach- 
ers of both sexes in large numbers.. The village boasts of over 
forty business places, including two banks, two grain elevators. 


.several general stores, a creamery and a roller mill, the latter in- 
stitution being built in 1895 by Bidwell & Doty, and now owned 
and operated by Loomis P. Irish. 

In the spring of 1909 the electors of the village voted munici- 
pal bonds in the sum of $3,000 to be used toward the construction 
of a new city hall, and the building was finished in October of the 
same year at a cost of about $12,000. It is a fireproof structure 
40x60 feet in size and contains a large hall, fire station, jail, coun- 
cil rooms, etc., and is withal a fine structure and admirably 
situated to the needs of the village. The fire department consists 
of about forty officers and men under Chief J. A. Kaiserlik, divi- 
ded into three companies, and thoroughly equipped with fire 
fighting apparatus. — Ralph W. Holmes. 


Pine Island is in the southeast corner of Goodhue county, com- 
prises township 109. range 15, and is hounded on the north by 
Zumbrota, on the east by Wabasha county, on the south by Olm- 
sted county and on the west by Roseoe. The valley of the Zum- 
bro, in the southern part, is a mile wide. In the early days the 
northern and southwestern portions were heavily limbered, and 
much of this timber has been allowed to remain standing. The 
geologic formations of this township differ materially from the 
rest of the county, but like its neighboring Goodhue county town- 
ships, its soil is rich, and its farmers consequently prosperous. 
The superior advantages of wood and running water, combined 
with rich rolling prairie land, naturally attracted a large number 
of settlers in the early days, and even previous to this, the place 
had been a favorite resort of the Indians. 

The men who enlisted in the Civil War from Pine Island were: 
Edward Ash, Jr., William 0. Ackerman, Silver Austin, John 
Bump, Benjamin H. Briggs, Norval Bishop, Ole P. Burg, Calvin 
B. Clark, S. P. Corning, William B. Chandler, Capt. Otis S. Clark, 
Edw^ard V. Dickey, Ed Dowling, Jasper W. Dickey. William B. 
Dickey, Henry Detmaring, Sylvester Fox, Peter E. Fladlang, 
Marseilles Glazier, John Goodman, Philip S. Hamlin, Charles C. 
Hardy, John T. Hardy, William S. Hackins, William H. Halstead, 
James L. Hurley, N. N. Hardy, William B. Kitchell, C. A. Kirk- 
man, Joshua C. Kitchell, A. K. Kirkman, William Krapp, G. B. D. 
Leighton, Eichard McGee, D. Metselder, S. W. Miller, N. D. Mar- 
ble, S. M. Mommans. William H. McGee, E. W. Maynard, Capt. 
Orlando Morehouse, E. AY. Maxwell, J. C. Miller, Lieut. Edward 
O'Brien, Milo Parker, John P. Peterson, Simeon W. Eowe, D. C. 
Eessegriere, C. A. Sumner, John Shanbolt, Fletcher A. Sheldon., 
Lieut. II. M. Stanton, Joel E. Sampson, Geo. AY. Smith, Frank 


Snyder, Benjamin Streethers, Tacitus Streethers, George II. Suits, 
John Sneyder, Sanform Summers, Jesse E. Smith, William Seag, 
Joel X. Sheldon. George Tilden, L. G. Thompson, Capt. W. W. 
Wilson, William S. Wills, Peter Anderson, Marshall Hickock, J. 
F. Bateman, Benjamin II. Briggs, J. A. Cutshall, William II. Hal- 
stead, Abraham ihibbs, Cyrus B. Chase, E. W. Maynard, Lieut. 
Fletcher Hagler, Emerson Harris, Tacitus Strutins, Daniel Eddy, 
Albert Harrison. James Pratt, Thomas Campbell, John Mohr, 
Daniel Ilobbs, James M. Pe'ttengill, Horace M. Johnson, Joseph 
Ahnermann. Ira Bateman, Franklin Buma, Conrad Durst, C. D. 
Dickey, John Eddie, Elias R. Kain, Henry Momany. 

Following is a resume of the officers of the township of Pine 
Island during the first twenty years .of its existence: At the first 
animal election, held .May 11. 1858, soon after the township w r as 
constituted, there were elected: Supervisors, C. R. White, J. C. 
.Miller, E. D. White; clerk. J. A. Tarbox; collector, G. F. Nye; 
assessor, John Harper: justice of the peace, J. S. Pierce; overseer 
of the poor, Closes Jewell; constables, G. F. Nye, S. Demming. 
There were elected at the second annual meeting, April 5, 1859: 
Supervisors, Oscar E. Smith. Edmond White, W. S. Newton; 
clerk, Harrison 31. Stanton; assessor. S. P. Hardy: overseer of the 
poor. Moses Jewell; collector, G. F. Nye. At the third annual 
meeting, held April 3, I860, there were elected: Supervisors, 
Sylvester Dickey, Nelson D. Marble, John Harper; clerk. II. M. 
Stanton; superintendent of schools, Dr. Charles Hill; assessor 
William Krapp ; treasurer, Peter Momany; justice of the peace, 
S. S. Worthing; constables. James Pratt, J. D. Ells. July 13, 
I860, 0. Morehouse was appointed assessor, vice William Krapp, 
resigned. At the fourth annual meeting, held April 2, 1861, there 
were elected: Supervisors, Otis S. Clark, W T illiam Mead, Oscar A. 
Dickey ; clerk, H. M. Stanton ; assessor, Calvin P. Clark ; treas- 
urer, Peter Momany; justices of the peace, Thomas McManus, 
William S. Haskins ; constable, Jacob C. Cook ; pound master, 
Truman Parker. April 8, 1861, H. M. Stanton was appointed 
town superintendent of schools. April 15, 1861, J. C. Dickey 
was appointed assessor, vice 0. P. Clark, resigned. At the fifth 
annual meeting, held April 1. 1862. there were elected: Super- 
visors, Henry Ahneman, C. C. Robinson, P. S. Felton ; clerk, 
Thomas McManus ; assessor, Henry Harper ; treasurer, Jasper W. 
Dickey ; justices of the peace, Thomas McManus, Peter Momany ; 
constables, J. C. Cook, John Salmon ; pound master, Moses Jewell. 
At the sixth annual meeting, held April 7, 1863, there were 
elected: Supervisors, William P. Hall, J. C. Miller. L. W. Holman : 
clerk, S. S. Worthing; assessor, Henry Ahneman ; treasurer, Jere- 
miah Wheeler; constable, S. Demming. At the seventh annual 
meeting, held April 5. 1864. there were elected : Supervisors, Mar- 


tin Tarbox, Alexander Freeman, W. E. Nichols; clerk, Thomas 
McManus; assessor;, Henry Ahneman ; treasurer, Sylvester 
Dickey: justices of the peace, Thomas McManus, W. S. Newton; 
constables, J. C. Cook, H. F. Emery. On January 28, 1865, S. S. 
AVorthing was appointed town clerk vice Thomas McManus. At 
the eighth annual election, held April 4, 1865. there were elected: 
Supervisors. Henry Ahneman. J. C. Miller. W. S. Newton; clerk, 
D. F. Woodward; assessor, Henry Ahneman; treasurer, Sylvester 
Dickey ; justices of the peace, D. F. "Woodward, P. S. Fenton ; 
constables, George W. Swarthout, AVilliam Mead. At the ninth 
annual meeting, held April 3, 1866, there were elected: Super- 
visors, Lyman Clark, W. C. Xewton. E. L. Swartout; clerk, Hervy 
(i. (lark: assessor, Henry Ahneman; treasurer. \Y. M. Thomp- 
son: justices of the peace, D. F. Woodward, II. Ahneman; con- 
stables. J. W. Palmer, James Pratt. At the tenth annual meeting 
held April 2. ISnT. there were elected: Supervisors, Sylvester 
Dickey. ('. ( '. Robinson, George W. Hayward; clerk. Hervy G. 
Clark: assessor Oscar E. Smith; treasurer, J. ('. Dickey; con- 
stable, J. < '. Cook. At the eleventh annual meeting, held April 
7. L868, there were elected: Supervisors, Charles II. Leavitt, J. 
AV. Dickey. George A. Hayward; clerk, II. <i. Clark; assessor. W. 
( '. Crandall; treasurer, S. S, Worthing; justices of the peace. D. 
F. Woodward, Thomas E. Cooper; constables, AYilliam Hunter, 
James K. Roberts. At the twelfth annual meeting, held April 
6, 1869, there were elected : Supervisors, D. L. B. Parrington, E. 
L. Swartout. J. AV. Dickey: clerk. Charles L. Hubbs; assessor, 
AV. C. Crandall; treasurer, S. S. Worthing; justices of the peace. 
C. H. Leavitt, D. F. AVoodward ; constables, A. G. Atha, 0. N. 
Page. A lay 16, 1870, G. AV. Page was appointed town clerk, vice 
F. D. AVorthing, resigned. At the fourteenth annual meeting, 
held March 14, 1871, there were elected: Supervisors. William 
N. Thomson. 0. E. Smith. James Parker; clerk, George AV. Page; 
assessor, AV. C. Crandall ; treasurer, S. S. AVorthing; justice of the 
peace, Henry Ahneman. May 2, 1871, P. S. Fenton was duly ap- 
pointed supervisor, vice 0. E. Smith, who failed to qualify. At 
the fifteenth annual meeting, held March 12, 1872, there w T ere 
elected : Supervisors, Thomas E. Cooper, Henry Degener, Arthur 
Haunsinger; clerk, George AV. Paige; treasurer. S. S. AVorthing; 
assessor, AV. C. Crandall; justices of the peace, W. E. Sergeant, 
Henry Ahneman ; constable, L. D. Hart. March 23, 1872, Joseph 
Ahneman was appointed constable for the remainder of the year. 
Aiay 29. 1872. G. AV. Paige was appointed assessor, vice Crandall, 
who failed to qualify. March 1, 1873. James Parker was appoint- 
ed chairman of the board of supervisors, vice Cooper, resigned. 
At the sixteenth annual meeting, held March 11. 1873. there were 
elected: Supervisors. C. H. Leavitt. James Parker. P. S. Fenton; 


clerk, (i. W. Paige. The official record for L873 is incomplete; 
no one living remembers the remainder of the officers that year. 
At the seventeenth annua] meeting, held March 10, 1874, there 
were elected : Supervisors, .lames Parker, John Mohr, Matthias P. 
Ringdahl; clerk. G. W. Paige; assessor, G. W. Paige; treasurer, 
S. S. Worthing; just ices of the peace. W. E. Sergeant and H. 
Ahneman; constables. F. I). Worthing and Henry Tome. John 
Mohr failing to qualify, an appointment hoard met .March 28, 
1874, and Henry Hahneman was appointed supervisor in his place. 
At the eighteenth annual meeting, held March 10, 1875, there 
were elected: Supervisors, James Parker. Henry Ahneman, M. P. 
Ringdahl; clerk, G. W. Paige; assess.)]-. <;. \V. Paige; treasurer, 
S. S. Worthing; poundmaster, Henry Ahneman. At the nine- 
teenth annuaJ meeting, held .March 14. 1876, there were elected: 
Supervisors, C. H. Lcavitt, Giles Hayward, Thomas Halloway; 
clerk. A. H. Kellogg; assessor. Ladd Robie; treasurer, H. T. Per- 
kins; justices of the peace. Henry Ahneman. Fletcher Hagler; 
constables. Henry Tome. Charles Dickinson. May 1, 1876, Charles 
Edison was appointed assessor, vice Ladd Robie; who failed to 
qualify. At the twentieth annual meeting, held March 13, 1877, 
there Mere elected: Supervisors, Charles H. Leavitt ; Thomas Hal- 
loway, Knut Clementson; clerk, A. H. Kellogg; treasurer, H. T. 
Perkins; assessor. Charles Edison; poundmaster, J. C. Dickey. 
July 6, 1877. H. S. Perkins was appointed to the office of town 
treasurer, vice H. T. Perkins, deceased. At the twenty-first an- 
nual meeting, held March 12, 1778, there were elected: Super- 
visors, E. L. Swartout, George Newhouse, Geo. Reinhart ; clerk, 
A. H. Kellogg ; treasurer. A. B. Cron ; assessor, Charles Edison ; 
justices of the peace. Fletcher Hagler, Henry Ahneman ; con- 
stables. Henry Tome. H. A. Perkins. 


Roscoe comprises township 109, range 16, and is bounded on 
the east by Pine Island, on the south by Dodge county, on the, 
west by Cherry Grove and on the north by Minneola. The south- 
eastern part is cut up into lots and is practically a suburb of 
Pine Island village. In natural features Roscoe very closely 
resembles the township of Pine Island. It has fine prairie lands, 
somewhat elevated in the north and descending in rolling undu- 
lations to the valley of one of the branches of the Zumbro in 
the south. The drainage is through the Zumbro and its branches 
in the south and a few creeks in the north. In the southern part 
of the township are tracts wooded with white and burr oak, sugar 
maple, elm and poplar. With running water, fine timber and 


deep prairie soil, it made a most desirable place for the location 
of the early settlers. 

James Haggard and AY. Wilson came in 1854. Their claims 
were on section 5, where they erected cabins and prepared 
for permanent settlement. AVilson, however, after some time, 
returned to his old home in the East, and Haggard, discouraged 
by the burning of his cabin, went to Brown county, where he 
became a prominent citizen. Shortly after t he coming of Hag- 
gard and AVilson there arrived Simon Sackett, D. F. Stevens 
and H. D. Devoe. They were followed the next year by Fletcher 
Hagler, J. R. Good, David Coleman, J. Kutherford, William 
Farnam, Alexander Long, P. G. Wilson, William Fry, T. D. 
Hall and J. J. Hagler. Fletcher Hagler, above named, had his 
claim where the village of Roscoe now stands. He built the 
first frame dwelling in the township and served as postmaster, 
but afterward became one of the poineers of Pine Island. Oliver 
Webb, a lineal descendant of the Pilgrims, came in 1856. John 

C. Hepner, for many years the village blacksmith, came the same 
year and built a blacksmith shop. Among others who came at 
about the same time were two brothers named Dickinson, B. W. 
Halliday, G. G. McCoy. H. B. Powers and Charles Dana. The 
latter named the town from the township of Roscoe, Illinois, 
where he had previously lived. 

In 1856 Messrs. Hagler and Good built and stocked a store 
for general merchandise. This store was kept in operation about 
two years and then discontinued on account of the financial 
depression. In the spring of 1856 the same company had a 
village plat surveyed and the blocks and streets laid out. It 
never, however, reached the gigantic proportions of which the 
proprietors so fondly dreamed, although the proprietors helped 
all they could by getting a hotel built and a postoffice started. 
An early history says: "These pioneers experienced their full 
share of the hardships incident to the opening and settling of 
a new community. At once time Mrs. Stevens, the mother of 

D. F. Stevens, having sent her son to Dubuque for household 
supplies, relates that for two months she did not look upon the 
face of a white person except that of her young daughter; and 
the only bread they had to eat was made from corn given her 
I>y the Indians and ground by herself in a coffee mill." 

The first religious services in tfie town were held at the home 
of Mrs. Stevens in the fall of 1854, the Rev. John Salmon offici- 
ating. The first church organization took place in the school- 
house at Roscoe in the spring of 1857. The first Sunday school 
was organized in 1858, and Loren Webb, son of Oliver Webb, 
was the first superintendent. In the spring of 1855 Mrs. Haskell 
Burch, while living in a covered wagon, awaiting the completion 


of a better habitation, gave birth to twins, being the first white 
children to sec the light of day in the township. II. ('. Emery 
and Mrs. Mahala Saeketl were the first couple united in matri- 
mony, the ceremony being performed in July, 1856. The first 
deatli occurred the same year, that of William Fry. The first 
school, erected in 18-">7. was taught by Annette Leek the same 
year. J. T. Mitchell, who came in 1856, assisted in starting a 
pioneer school on the southeast corner of section 11, later known 
as McCoy's district. This school was first taught by Sophia 
Blancharcl, in the spring of 1858. Miss Blanchard afterward 
became Mrs. John Gove. 

The township settled up rapidly. The predominating people 
in the town are now Americans of Norwegian descent or birth. 
There are also many residents of Swedish and German birth or 
descent, and there still remain a few of the descendants of the 
old eastern families, but these latter for the most part have 
moved away. The town is pre-eminently one of prosperity, rich 
land, beautiful homes, and a progressive, contented people. The 
second generation is for the most part well educated, and the 
third generation is making rapid strides in the public schools. 
Two calamities which occurred in the early days have fixed 
themselves firmly in the minds of the people. The first hap- 
pened in 1860. Jeremiah Kay, one of the pioneers, had followed 
the rush of the gold seekers to Pike's Peak, leaving his wife and 
children. He prospered in his new location and was contemplat- 
ing sending for his family, when ocurred the sad accident which 
robbed him of his recently-born twins. In the month of June 
the family residence was stwick by lightning, and at once burst 
into flames. Mary Jane Shields, a girl living in the household, 
succeeded in getting Mrs. Ray and the two older children out 
of the house. Mrs. Ray, however, although still ill, saw that her 
twins had not been saved and rushed back into the house. 
Blinded by smoke and weak as she was, she was unable to rescue 
the babies, and they perished in the flames. George Lantz, after 
escaping the murderous rain of shot and shell on the battlefields 
of the Civil War, perished in the following manner: In the 
winter of 1865-66 he went to Mantorville, Dodge county, about 
twelve miles from his home, on horseback, and returning in the 
* evening a blizzard met him. While passing through a grove of 
timber he was warned of his danger and told that it was prac- 
tically impossible for him to reach home. He persevered, how- 
ever, and was found frozen to death the next morning within 
a few rods of his own home. He had reached a fence. ;md in 
endeavoring to climb over made a misstep and fell back, to 
rise no more. The horse was found at a neighbor's barn. It is 
supposed that he let the horse go, hoping that by walking he 


might induce sufficient circulation to keep warmth and life in 
his body until he could reach his house. 

The first town meeting was held .May 11, 1858, with the 
result that officers were elected as follows: Supervisors. Oliver 
•Webb (chairman), James Mann, N. S. Libby; clerk, William 
Sackett; justices of the peace. Fletcher Hagler, James Mann; 
collector, J. S. Wiekham; assessor, J. T. Mitchell; overseer of 
the poor, Horace Barber; constables, E. P. Penney, J. R. Good. 
Among the early supervisors were: Oliver Webb, G. G. McCoy, 
J. B. Dorman (two terms), Reuben Freeman, J. T. .Mitchell, C. 
W. Libby, J. T. Mitchell (two terms). P. Hagler, B. W. Halliday. 
Among the early town clerks were William Sackett i four terms), 
•lames Green, S. W. Rice, L. it. Rice (four terms), H. L. Holmes. 

Roscoe's contribution to the Civil War ranks was as follows: 
R. ( '. Barnes, E. II. Drake. Norman Dickinson. Jerry B. Getman, 
I-]. A. Bodge, 11. L. Holmes. Iv L. Ives. A. J. Johnson, E. P. Kin- 
caid, John M. Lee, Josiah Lothrop, David N. Lake, Samuel Maine, 
Captain G. G. McCoy, Ormando Merrifield, Edmund Parker, 
Andrew X. Perkins, Elton < '. Parker, Joseph Pickering, Silas W. 
Rice, Amos G. Scofield, George S. Scofield, David B. Scofield, 
Joseph Townsend, G. W. Van Sydle, M. L. Webb, Captain L. A. 
Webb, Richard Waterman. Lars Kesphol, D. W. Abbey, Orris 
Fox, James Shield. Alfred Collins, AVilliam Shield, John Peterson, 
Hermon Perkins. Lyman -I. Ward, Marion Blacker, AVilliam H. 
Shadwell. Charles Cade, Orlando Freeman, Lewis Freeman, 
George Fox. William Hemenway, Amos B. Mitchell, Francis 
Sackett, Pythagoras Wilson. William Bleedon, John Buhler, Rich- 
ard Dressel, John Doyle, Thomas Dgvine, John Dolchy, Frederick 
Hamman. -John Kreubeng, Frank Kuntz. Swan P. Peterson, Jacob 
Rosen, John Schugg, Fred Schannberg, George Gortman and 
Benjamin Light. 

Roscoe Center was founded in 1858. At that time it was 
known as Sunapee, and Truman Parker was appointed post- 
master. The name was changed to Roscoe Center in 1863. At 
this point is now a small settlement, and here also is the Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church, a. commodious structure capable of 
seating 500 people. 

Roscoe village is also a hustling little settlement. The post- 
office is now discontinued and mail is received by the Zumbrota , 
R. F. D. No. 4. The village is thirty-two miles southwest of 
Red "Wing and eight miles southAvest from Zumbrota. 

Stanton consists of that portion of township 112, range 18, 
lying in Goodhue county. It is divided into river terrace and 
upland, the greater portion of it being the former. There are 


two, and in some places three, distinct ten-aces, which are prac- 
tically level, extending along both sides of Prairie creek and the 
Cannon river. The latter valley is frequently more than a mile 
wide, and embraces Large and valuable farms. The upland is 
undulating and has a soil similar to that of the terraces, although 
its sub-soil is usually clayey rather than gravelly. There is 
timber along some portions of the Little Cannon and sparsely 
along the hanks of Prairie creek. The section along this creek 
is broad and beautiful, bordered by the higher prairie lands, 
which venders il picturesque and charming to all who behold it. 
The township is bounded on the north by Cannon river, which 
separates it from Dakota county, on the east by Cannon Falls, 
on the south by Warsaw and on the west by Dakota county. 
Stanton Avas the original name applied to this township, but at 
its organization it was changed to Lillian, Stanton not having 
proved acceptable to the state authorities. It was later, however, 
changed back to Stanton, the name being given in honor of 
William Stanton, Sr., one of the earliest settlers. The township 
was originally a New England settlement, most of the pioneers 
being natives of Vermont and of Puritan ancestry. Some moved 
further west, but many of them remained, and their descendants 
still live on the original farms. 

Late in the fall of 1854 John and George Seasons made claims 
on the Little Cannon in the eastern part of the township. Soon 
after, Jonathan and Alonzo Dibble and William Thomas settled 
near them. In 1855 came the real influx of immigration, when 
a party of New Englanders arrived from Wisconsin, where they 
had previously made a settlement. The party consisted of Nor- 
man Daniels, AYilliam Stanton. Sr., William Stanton, Jr., Robert 
Deakin, Samuel Daniels and George Gould. There were also a 
number of others in the party, as well as the families of those 
mentioned. In the fall of the same year Peter Fagen and Hugh 
Wooden, with the father and two sisters of the latter, settled 
here, but one by one the entire family of the AVoodens died, 
leaving no survivors. 

The first death was that of Mrs. George Seasons. The mar- 
riage rites were performed for the first time for George Gould 
and Experience Daniels, in October, 1855. The first religious 
services in the town were held in the w r inter of 1855-56, at the 
house of William Stanton, Sr., Rev. J. W. Hancock, of Red Wing, 
officiating. William Cleveland taught the first school. Rev. 
Hancock says: "The log house built by William Stanton, Sr., 
near the road leading to Faribault from the nearest Mississippi 
towns, was for several years the only place for tin entertainment 
of travelers between Cannon Falls and the further West. Mr. 
Stanton's latch string was always hanging out. and every civil- 


appearing stranger was welcome to such accommodation as he 
had. He frequently entertained fifty persons the same night. 
Not many of those who came to settle at that time were able to 
have good sized log houses. Sod houses and board shanties were 
common. The years which have passed since then have brought 
great changes." 

In the early days there were two flouring mills, one owned 
by Messrs. Bailey and Collins on the Big Cannon, and the other 
by Messrs. Wilcox and Archibald on the Little Cannon. The 
latter, known as the Oxford flouring mill, was burned several 
years ago. The Methodist Episcopal church was built in 187-1 on 
section 32. It is 28x44 and cost $2,000. The Oxford Methodist 
church was completed in June, 1873, size 26x40. These churches 
were the first in the township. 

Stanton's contribution to the Civil War was as follows: 
Jonathan Clifford, Ezra Cornell. Emanuel Deaken, Daniel Good- 
hue, William Goudy. John W. Gould, Samuel Gould, Charles 
Goodhue. L. B. Hat. Hiram Hoffstetter, AVhitney Jewell. Elisha 
A. Jackson. John W. Moore. W. II. McDonald, William E. Poe, 
Jonathan S. Poe, Reby S. Philbert, James L. Scofield, Charles 
M. Scofield, Edwin Season, Sylvester Trusdell, Edward Thomas, 
Joseph Thomas, Elijah T. Thomas, Gilbert Trusdell, Charles Vier- 
kent, Edmund Deaken, John Chase, James Strange, Otis B. 
Bailey. James Babb. Jr.. David Denny, Henry Drought. Patrick 
Quinlan. Eli Marsh. Andrew Norelius, William Harrison, August 
Kaunlke, Reinhart Reibath. 

Stanton is a station on the Chicago & Great Western railroad, 
in Stanton township, twenty-five miles southwest of Red Wing. 
It has a hotel, postoffice, a church, schoolhouse and several places 
of business. 

Oxford Mills is situated on the Little Cannon, and here were 
located the Oxford flouring mills. Here are now a Methodist 
church, residences and other buildings. 

Cascade is a settlement in the northwestern part of the 


Vasa k the center of the Swedish settlement in Goodhue 
county. The township comprises all of township 112, range 16, 
and all of that part of township 113, range 16, that lies south 
of the Cannon river. It is bounded on the north by the Cannon 
river, which separates it from the town of Welch, on the easi 
by Featherstone, on the south by Belle Creek and on the west 
by Cannon Falls. Belle creek crosses the township from south 
to north and flows into the Cannon river. The surface is some- 


what broken or rolling, but the soil is excellent. Sections 19, 
30 and 31 constitute a high table land. 

To this rich land, in 1853, came S. J. Willard, Colonel Hans 
Mattson, Charles Roos, Gustaf Kemp and Peter Green. They 
all made claims and Roos and Kemp stayed through the winter, 
the other returning to Red Wing to find work until the spring 
of 1851, when they began in earnest to build homes and to break 
the soil. A few accessions were made to the colony that year, 
and one of them, whose name is now forgotten, died soon after 
his arrival. This was the first death, and his mortal remains 
were tenderly and reverently conveyed to their last resting place 
in the land he had crossed the ocean to look upon but which he 
did not live to enjoy. 

The first marriage celebrated was that of Hans Mattson and 
Cherstie Peterson, November 21, 1855. A school was taught here 
in the fall of 1856 by a Mr. Button. Another was taught in the 
Swedish language by James Engberg. Meetings were held on 
the Sabbath and Lutheran church services read by Hans Mattson 
until the minister arrived. 

Vasa is named from Gustavus Vasa, the Christian king of 
Sweden, who established the Lutheran religion in his kingdom. 
Since the first settlement, Vasa has been famed far and near, and 
its reputation is nationwide as the home of Dr. E. Norelius. the 
venerable patriarch of the Swedish Lutheran Evangelical church. 
The story of the early days of Vasa is told by Dr. Norelius. 
Colonel Hans Mattson and S. J. Willard in another chapter of 
this history. 

Vasa township was organized in 1858, and its area has 
remained unchanged since that date. The first officers were : 
Supervisors, Charles Himmelman (chairman), Charles Charleson, 
Nils Peterson ; clerk, Swante J. Willard ; assessor, Nils Swanson ; 
collector, John Sundell ; overseer of the poor, Matts Mattson ; 
constables. Nils Johnson Erick Anderson; justices of the peace, 
T. Granvill Person, Franklin Morrison; overseers of roads. Swan 
P. Peterson, Gustus Carlson and William F. Fessenden. 

Among the early officers of the township Avere : Chairmen of 
supervisors — 1858, Charles Himmelman; 1850. William F. Fessen- 
den; 1860, 1861, 1862, T. G. Pearson; 1863, A. P. Wilson; 1864, 
Lars Mattson; 1865, A. G. Anderson; 1866, John Hakanson; 1867. 
1868, 1869, A. G. Anderson. Town clerks— 1858, S. J. Willard: 
1859, John Norelius; 1860, S. J. Willard ; 1861, 1862, A. P. Lester; 
1863, Charles Himmelman; 1864, 1865, John Wickey; 1866, 1867, 
1868, T. G. Pearson; 1869, J. W. Peterson. 

According to the official list of the adjutant general, the follow- 
ing men who enlisted in the Civil War gave Vasa as their home: 
Olof Anderson, John A. Anderson. Nils Ahfahamson, Charles M. 


Yates, Frank Carlson, Victor Freeman, George Washington, George 
W. Knight, George Bohinbaek, Ben Benson, Charles E. Charleson, 
Charles M. Beers, Halvor Ekeland, Olaf Fahlin, Peter Johnson, 
John Johnson, John Larson, John Monson, John P. Ofelt John 
F. Olson, Paul Paulson, Nils Ringdahl, Charles Roos, Gustav 
Swenson, Charles J. Sundell, Jonas SAvan, John Stice, Charles 
Gustavson, John Hokason, Ivan Salmonson, Reuben Taylor, Con- 
rad Windhusen, Eder B. Pelles, Carl Bruhn, John Hershberger, 
Robert V. Langdon. H. F. Merriman, S. L. Merriman, Harvey- 
Ward, Michael McGrath, Felix Hills, Joseph McNally, Horation 
Vaughn, Carl Sehroske, Ephraim Dudley, Benjamin Burgess, 
Charles Berlin, John Dablow, Joseph Griffin, Patrick Hefferman, 
Lafayette Leavitt, Matt Mattson, Thomas McDonald, Ole Oleson, 
Charles Oleson, Olin Wiltse, Olin K. Ryalan, George Blake, Peter 
Dressell, Henry G. Henderson, Henry Luhring and Frederick 

Vasa village has a population of about 300. It is the only 
postoffice in the county that is not situated on a railroad, its 
shipping points being Red Wing, Welch and Cannon Falls. Swe- 
dish Lutheran and Methodist churches supply the religious de- 
mands of the people, and a creamery, feed mill and two stores 
add to its industrial importance. Here is also . located the 
Orphan's Home. 


Wacoota township preserves the name of the chief whom the 
while men found in charge of the Indian band at Red Wing in 
the late forties and early fifties. His name, Wah-coo-tay, 
variously translated as Waueouta, Dacouta and Waccota, means 
the ''Shooter." or "Leaf Shooter," literally the "Shooter of the 
Leaves of the Indigenous Pines." 

The township of Wacoota consists of a few sections lying 
along the Mississippi river at the head of Lake Pepin. It has 
many hills and bluffs, but in the valleys are many fine farms. 

The first white settler, George W. Billiard, arrived about 
1850, bringing Abner W. Post, who built for him the first house 
erected in the township. Bullard had a license from the United 
States government to trade with the Indians. This gave him 
some rights upon the Indian lands, which at that time were not 
opened to the whites ; but although he did enjoy some Indian 
trade, the larger part of his customers were lumbermen from 
across the river. In May, 1852, even before the signing of the 
treaty, the influx of immigration started. In 1853 Bullard and 
Post erected a sawmill, the first west of the Mississippi river, it 
is believed. A village was platted, and for a time it looked as 


though Wacoota, commanding, as it does, the head of the lake, 
was to become a great and important city. Up to 1854 travelers 
were entertained at the home of Mr. Bullard. The increasing 
travel and the number of lumbermen who arrived caused a 
demand for a hotel, and during that year one was erected by 
J. B. Smith. This hotel was afterward removed to Mt. Pleasant, 
in Wabasha county, and did service as a residence for the Rev. 
Mr. Williams. In 1855 Daniel Saunders built another hotel, 
which in 1864 was removed to the township of Featherstone, 
where it was converted into a dwelling house for the Rev. Ezra 
Tucker. These two hotels in 1857 were found to be insufficient 
for the demand. The village became a headquarters for lumber- 
men, and at this point were rafted the logs from the pineries 
further north. So prosperous were the people at this point that 
they contested" with Red AVing for the location of the county 
seat, and but for the cleverness of the Red Wing voters, might 
have got it. Bullard, wishing to get his full share of the money 
which was pouring into Wacoota, erected a third hotel in the 
village in 1857. This building was 40x60 feet and furnished in 
good style. After the tide had turned and the flood of business 
had gone to other places, Bullard sold this hotel to Messrs. 
Tibbetts & Hackett, of Lake City, who removed it to that 
place in the winter on the ice. With the advent of the Civil 
War more than one-half of the legal voters enlisted. After 
the war was over the glory of Wacoota had departed; and today 
it remains not the proud and populous county seat that had been 
fondly dreamed, but a quiet rural community, whose prosperous 
farmers do their trading in that city which Wacoota at one time 
hoped to rival. 

Wacoota village is now a station on the Chicago, Milwaukee 
& St. Paul railroad. About three-quarters of a mile from the 
railroad station, after passing through a small grove, one arrives 
at Vivian Park, at the head of Lake Pepin. Here the waters 
of the great river expand into a wide and deep basin, which has 
all the attributes of a great lake, whose waters are still except 
when stirred by the wind. There, on the high ground over- 
looking the lake, have been built a number of cottages, where 
many families go to spend the hot summer months amid the 
refreshing scenery and bracing breezes. 

The first birth in Wacoota was in the family of G. W. Bullard. 
in 1852. The same child died in 1854, this being the first death 
in the township. The first marriage was that of Joseph F. 
Thompson and Melissa Pingrey, in 1855, James B. Smith, a 
justice of the peace, performing the ceremony. In the fall and 
winter of 1854 J. F. Pingrey taught a school in a ball over a 
store. Rev. J. AY. Hancock and Matthew Sorin held services as 


early as 1853. The township was organized at the time of the 
general act in 1858. 

Mrs. Julia B. Nelson, at a meeting of the old settlers of the 
Lake Pepin valley some years ago, related some of her early 
experiences, from which the following extract is taken: "Had 
I ever been scalped by a savage Sioux, or scared to death by 
harmless Chippewas ; had I ever lived in a seven-by-nine log 
house on three grains of corn a day; had I ever practiced driving 
four-in-hand with an ox team ; had I ever raised vegetables on 
territorial ground, or raised the chickens that crowed when 
Minnesota was admitted to the Union, it would not be inappro- 
priate to call upon me in an old settlers' meeting, and I should 
be both proud and happy to respond. As the case stands, if 1 
speak and confine myself wholly to the facts, I fear you will 
not he greatly entertained and will conclude that as an old 
settler I am a fraud and a failure. On a darkish night in June 
of 1857 the steamer Henry Clay landed at the town of Wacoota, 
and from that boat stepped my father, Edward Bullard, who 
had been down the river and brought back with him some horses, 
some cattle, and two awkward school girls, one of whom was 
myself. Although it was late at night, I saw a good many 
lights in the darkness and thought I had really come to a town. 
Passing to my new home T heard men sAvearing inside one of the 
three hotels in the place and thought I had come to a new 

"I couldn't make a claim and develop the resources of the 
country, but I did what I could by attending the spelling schools 
and lyeeums, which were in full blast. About two years after 
I began to 'teach the young idea how-to shoot.' and have fol- 
lowed that business much of the time since. (Note — Mrs. Nelson 
has now retired and lives in Red Wing, where she is still prom- 
inent in religious, temperance, equal rights and philanthropic 
work. — Ed.) Speaking of Sabbath keeping in the early days, 
'when there was no sound of the church-going bell.' an aunt 
of mine who came to the state before I did. who had no neigh- 
bors, and whose husband had gone on a journey of several days, 
kept the Sabbath, as she supposed, and the next day put out her 
washing. Her husband, returning, notified her to her horror that 
she had been washing on Sunday. Great changes have been 
wrought before our eyes, great improvements have been made 
in our time, but what pleases me most of all, more than the 
thought of railroad facilities and Avonderful immigration, more 
than telegraphic communication and. spacious and beautiful pub- 
lic buildings, is the prosperity of- those who came here to make 
homes, bringing with them only health and hope and honest 
hearts and willing hands. To see those who worked hard behind 


cxen riding with their own horses and carriages; to see those 
who lived in huts now occupying comfortable homes, enjoying 
themselves and educating their children, that is the best of all." 
The sixteen men who enlisted in the Civil War from Wacoota 
were: Morris Eldred, John Eldred, James Farenside, William 
Gordon. Lot C. Hilton, John Jordan, Nathaniel Jordan, Henry M. 
Reade, Henry S. Reed, Josiah Richardson, Ludwig Thiergart, 
Henry E. Van Dyke. John R. AY inched, Charles Axel, William 
Toms and R. D. Rich. 


Wanamingto comprises township 110, range 17, and has 
remained unchanged in area since the township organization act 
of 1858. It is bounded on the north by Leon, on the east by 
Minneola, on the west by Holden and on the south by Cherry 
Grove. Wanamingo is crossed east and west by the north branch 
of the Zumbro in the southern part, but the valley is broad and 
has gentle slopes. In the northwestern part there is a bran eh 
of the Cannon. The surface is largely prairie, gently rolling, 
with very fertile soil, well watered by many springs and running 
streams. Where these are not at hand, water is found by 
digging a few feet below the surface. The natural groves of 
timber in various sections add variety to the landscape. No 
other township in the county . it is said affords superior advan- 
tages to the farmer. 

The story of the early settlement of Wanamingo has been 
told as follows: "The first settlers came here in 1851, and were 
natives of Norway. Early in that year Henry Nelson (Talla) 
came to Dodgeville, Wis., from California, where he had been 
staying a few years and where he had accumulated a snug little 
sum of money. About the same time his older brother, Toge 
Nelson (Talla). then a widower, came back to the same place 
from Australia, where he also had earned some money. The 
two brothers then agreed to go to the Northwest together and 
search for a home. Purchasing a team, they started, and after 
being on the way as far as Root river, they heard that the terri- 
tory of Minnesota contained good farming land, with wood and 
water. They then purchased a number of cattle and such imple- 
ments as they would need for beginning farming operations. 
They were now joined by Thosten Anderson, another of their 
countrymen, who was also in the same pursuit. As both the 
Nelsons were determined to starl in farming for all there was 
in it. they each hired a man to help them. Henry hired William 
Williamson (Runningen) and Toge hired Nils Gulbrandson. 
Both these hired men were carpenters by trade. .Mr. Cnlhrand- 


son left his family in Wisconsin, expecting to return for them 
in the fall, providing he liked the new country. The prairie 
schooners were ready and the little company started for the 
unknown land May 21, the party consisting of those already men- 
tioned and Henry Nelson and family, Thosten Anderson and 
family, and two sisters of the Nelsons, Mrs. Jens Ottun, whose 
husband had not yet arrived from the old country, and Mrs. 
Nels K. Fenne,' whose husband was then in California. After 
rambling over the new territory of Minnesota for three weeks 
they came, June 12, to the place now called Wanamingo. They 
had for many days seen no white persons but themselves. At 
about. 11 o'clock on the day named above they crossed the 
north fork of the Zumbro. Toge Nelson stopped his team and,, 
looking around, saw there was a fine park with beautiful land 
adjacent. He exclaimed: 'Here will I live and die.' His 
words were fulfilled, for he died in 1889, having lived in that 
place thirty-five years. The whole company found it to be desir- 
able country for settlement, and so began their improvements. 
Knowing nothing as to how much land one man could hold as 
a claim, they marked off large portions, for they expected others 
of their countrymen to join them in making the town a Norse 
settlement. They began by making dugouts and sod shanties 
for living and sleeping apartments. They broke up the prairie 
for field culture and planted some corn, sowed buckwheat and 
rutabagas. They also planted a few potatoes that season. 

"Four weeks after this party had made their stand, two 
young men. Hans Ovaldson and Andrias Hesjelden, came to the 
place, having followed their tracks. These young men belonged 
to a larger party of immigrants, whom they had left some thirty- 
five or forty miles behind. They were so much pleased with 
the location that they started back immediately for their com- 
rades. They found them and induced nearly all the party to 
come to Wanamingo. This last party consisted of Andres Baarn- 
hus, John Stroemme, Guncler Hestemyr, Ole 0. Oakland, Haldor 
Johnson, and their families. About the first of August another 
train of Norwegian immigrants came on from Wisconsin, but 
finding the township of Wanamingo already claimed, they went 
further west into Holden and Kenyon, some even beyond the 
county line west, to make claims. 

"In the latter part of July this town was visited by two 
men from Red Wing, this being the first intimation the new 
settlers had of the existence of such a place. These men informed 
them that Red Wing was on the Mississippi river, about thirty 
miles distant, in a northeasterly direction. This information was 
a great benefit, as they knew of no market town nearer than 
Decorah, Iowa. In August Nils Gulbrandson went to Wisconsin- 


for his family, and it was agreed that he should there meet 
-lens Ottun. who had arrived from Norway, and accompany him 
to Red Wing- on the steamboat. Three weeks later Toge and 
Henry Nelson set out from Red Wing to meet them. After 
wandering about for two days they found the place. In the 
meantime the party had arrived, but both men had taken the 
cholera while on the steamboat. Mr. Gulbrandson died in one 
hour after landing. Mr. Ottun survived. They were left on 
the shore by the boat hands. Mrs. Gulbrandson took charge of 
her dying husband and grown-up daughter. The latter also took 
the disease, and died shortly after the father. William Freeborn, 
seeing Mr. Ottun lying on the levee with none seemingly to care 
for him, offered five dollars to the man who would take him to 
some house and care for him over night. A few days after this 
the Nelsons arrived in Red Wing and found Ottun so far recov- 
ered as to be walking about, and he, in company w T ith Mrs. 
Gulbrandson and her son, returned with the Nelsons to the new 
settlement. The next year, Toge Nelson (Talla) and Mrs. Gul- 
brandson were married. In October, 1854, the Nelsons went 
again to Red Wing, for winter supplies. Nils J. Ottun, son of 
Jens Ottun, related years afterward to a historian that 
his father was sent by the party for flour and some other neces- 
sities. Having only ten dollars, his wife sent a gold nugget worth 
ten dollars more. They bought two barrels of flour. Jens Ottun 
worked for Toge Nelson that winter, splitting rails, leading his 
son Nils and the mother to keep house alone. The mother used 
to measure off the slice of bread for each to be eaten at every 
meal, the same size, and this, with a little butter and something 
they called coffee for drink, constituted their everyday diet 
through the winter. In the latter part of March the people who 
had settled in the northern part of the town came to them for 
flour. They were entirely out, and the snow was so deep they 
could not get to Red Wing. Only one barrel was then left in the 
settlement. That was one of the two that Jens Ottun had bought, 
and it was equally divided among all and was made to last until 
the road to Red Wing became passable. The first death among 
the settlers was that of the youngest child of Thorsten Anderson, 
named Berith. Mrs. Jens Ottun was requested to select a suit- 
able place for a burial ground, and a farm for a preacher. This 
she did at the time of the burial of this child, in July, 1854. 
The first white child born in this town was Knute N. Fenne, in 
September of the same year. The first marriage was a double 
wedding in June, 1855. Toge Nelson (Talla) and .Mrs. Gul- 
brandson, already mentioned, and John J. Marifjern and Soe- 
neva Johnson were united in marriage at the same time, by Rev. 


Nils Brant, of Oconomowoc, Wis. The first public religious 
service was held the same mouth by the same clergyman. The 
laud selected for the preacher was for many years occupied by 
the Rev. B. J. Muus, who came in 1859 and for about forty-five 
years remained the pastor of several churches in that locality. 

"A few American families came to this town in 1855 and 
made claims in the southern portion, on the Zumbro river. One 
of the settlers. James Brown, platted and laid into lots forty 
acres of land for village purposes and called the place Wana- 
mingo, the name of a heroine of a novel popular in those days. 
A store was built by J. T. Wright in this village. 

•"Tlie first settlers had some difficulty the first year in adjust- 
ing the boundaries of their several claims. Not knowing how 
many acres one person could hold and pre-empt, their farms 
were unusually Large. Everyone wanted timber, prairie land 
and running water. This was in the latter part of 1855, before 
they found that each could hold but 160 acres, in adjoining 
40-acre lots. In some cases their first buildings would be a 
mile away from their breaking, as the late comers were obliged 
to claim a patch here and a patch there to satisfy all needs. So 
there were troubles to raeel and overcome when they went to the 
land office 1" purchase their lands from the United Slates gov- 
ernment after it came into the market. Many had hard strug- 
gles to encounter in that settlement during the first two years. 
They had not the means to pay their passage over the sea and 
were obliged to devote t heir earnings to that outlay. But for 
the fact that a few had money and could furnish work for 
others who had none, there would have been much suffering. 
The people frmn Norway seemed to be well fitted for pioneers 
in a new country. As farmers they have proved themselves 
t.i be mere successful than any other nationality, perhaps, who 
have come into the county. With no other means than a willing- 
ness to work at any labor to be done, with stout arms and faith 
in God and their fellow men. many of them are now reckoned 
among the wealthiest of our citizens in every branch of business 
now carried on. The farms and farm buildings in the town of 
Wanamingo at the present day show a degree of thrift and 
industry equal to the best in this county. The first wheat crop 
was raised here in the year 1856. There being no flouring mills 
near, it was all kept and used for seed. This town has the 
honor of being the first to build up and sustain the Norwegian 
Lutheran church, which has become the most numerous of the 
Christian churches in the county." 

James Brown is said to have taught the first school in the 
township. The first store was probably opened on section 4. by 


Elans .M. Sande and Knui Sanden, in the spring of 1857. They 
- ocked ii with goods and carried it on for about a year, when 
Mr. Sanden was married and his attention turned in other direc- 
tions. Mr. Sande also concluded thai he could make more 
money farming, so the mercantile business was abandoned. Both 
of these gentlemen soon became well-to-do farmers of the town- 
ship. "Another early storekeeper was Paulus .Miller. 

The Aspelund Society was organized in 1875, for the mutual 
benefit of the farmers. A store was creeled on section 16 and 
the society incorporated in 1876. The tirst officers were: Presi- 
dent. ( ). .1. Wing; secretary, X. -I. Ottun; treasurer. E. E. 
Sevareid; directors. Henry Nelson Talla), Hans M. Sande and 
Ole Lewis. X. -I. Ottun was appointed the first manager. 

To the Civil War Wanamingo township contributed the fol- 
lowing soldiers: Ellin g Albertson, Jermia Anderson, Arne An- 
derson. Samuel Arnold. I). \Y. Brawn, Henry II. Brown. Asa 
II. Dayton, Anfin Dalaker, Ole Evenson, John Ericson, Hans 
Hoisted. George \Y. Heart. Harris Harrison, Ole Johnson. Olans 
Johnson, Hans Johnson, Abraham L. Jackson, Guilder Killoe, 
Samuel Knutson, Ole Larson. Lewis Lewison, Martin Martinson, 
Jolm Xilson. Charles Xels'on. Ole Oleson, Thomas Peterson, John 
Peterson. F. F. Sandberg, Lawrence Thoreson, Henry J. Burrell, 
Phillip Buck, John M. Clark, Halver Enderson, Franklin Fuller, 
Anthony Farrell, Otis E. Fowble, Marshall Gore, Achiel D. 
Ilollista. John S. Hall. Francis G. Hall, Elias Hoyt. William 
Ilahn, Julius Johnson. John J. Koenan. George Newyille, John 
B. Robinson. Eleazer Robbins, Anson Smith. Almon P. Smith, 
James B. Stouthers, Lorenz Thoreson, Gunder Thompson, Theo- 
dore Moonen, James A. Miller, Peter MeDonough, Jonathan B. 
Serrell. Halver Stamerson. Charles J. Dobering. Francis J. Burke, 
John Betcher, AVilliam H. Blaker . Samuel B. Brown, Laurens E. 
Brow r n, Spaulding AVhittemore, Lucian L. Perkins, Sela Denny, 
Phillip Buck. Samuel Johnson, Charles Martin. John Gutteridge, 
Joshua Oliver, Melvin O. Dutton, John Clementson. Daniel Me- 
Alonan. AVilliam H. Applegat. R. G. Applegat, Peter B. Town- 
send, John Johnson, Tenkel X T elson, Charles Flack, John Peter- 
son, William G. Renearson, Lodolf Swanson. Patrick Connersy, 
Peter Hoppe, Andrew Roberts, Francis Coule, Archibald Gallo- 
way, George H. Gaylord, W. B. Harlan, Jacob J. Hussell, Jolm 
Mallory, John Ockerson, George C. Ridley, Ole Severson. John 
Williams, Nels Iverson, Fikel Jensen, Frank W. Carlson, George 
Chambers, Samuel B. Roberts, Dominick Toole. 

At the organization of the township. May 11. 1858. the officers 
elected were: Supervisors, 0. Hansen (chairman), N. K. Fenne, 
J. G. Brown ; town clerk, J. T. Wright; justice of the peace, W. 
R. Brown; constable, W T arren Tllson ; assessor. X\ K. Fenne. Fol- 


lowing is the list of the early supervisors, the first named under 
each date being the chairman : 1859, George AY. Duffy, Saave 
Kniulson, Halvor Olson; 1860, T. J. Smith, Halvor Olson, Thor 
Einertson ; 1861, T. J. Smith, Saave Knudson, Colben Nelson; 

1862, Hans H. Holtan, J. T. Leet, William Williamson; 1863, 
Hans H. Holtan, Coelboern Nelson, I. C. Swift; 1864, A. P. 
Jackson, Knut Sanden, Hans M. Sande; 1865, A. P. Jackson, 
Hans M. Sande, Knut Sanden; 1866, A. P. Jackson, Hans M. 
Sande, Knut Sanden ; 1867, A. P. Jackson, Hans M. Sande, Knut 
Sanden; 1868, A. P. Jackson, 0. J. Wing, N. K. Fenne ; 1869, 
Hans H. Holtan, 0. J. Wing, Chris Sanden; 1870, 1871, 1872, the 
same; 1873, 0. J. Wing, G. C. Gunderson, Charles Anderson; 1871, 
G. C. Gunderson, Charles Anderson, John Swenson; 1875, 1876, 
the same; 1877, G. C. Gunderson, John Swenson. A. T. Rygh. 
Assessors— 1859, N. K. Fenne; 1860. Saave Knudson; 1861 to 

1863, Neri Helgeson; 1864. Charles Paulson ; 1865, E. E. Sevareid ; 
1866 to 1868, -John Paulson; 1869. Elef Olson: 1870, and 1871, 
Hans M. Sande; 1872 and 1873, Ole 0. Follingstad; 1874 to 1877, 
Hans M, Sande; 1878. Ole 0. Huset. Justices of the peace — 1859, 
W. R. Brown. George AY. Duffy; 1860, T. J. Smith; 1862, W 
R. Brown; 1863. Charles Paulson; 1864, J. P. Leet; 1865, Charles 
Paulson; 1866, L. P. Leet; 1867. 0. Paulson, AY. R. Brown; 1868, 
A. P. Jackson. N. J. Ottun ; 1869, W. R. Brown; 1870, A. P. 
Jackson; 1871. AY. R. Brown; 1872, N. J. Ottun; 1873, Christ 
Hveem ; 1874, N. J. Ottun, T. T. Corchran ; 1875, Hans M. Sande ; 
1876, N. J. Ottun; 1877, Hans M. Sande; 1878, Ole 0. Huset. 
Clerks— 1859, 0. Hansen; 1860, and 1861, W. R, Brown; 1862, 
A. P. Jackson; 1863, Benjamin (lark; 1864 and 1865, J. P. Leet; 
1866 to 1868, N. J. Ottun. Collector— 1858, Knut Sanden, served 
two terms. Treasurers — 1860, William AVilliamson ; 1862, W. R. 
Roulet; 1864, G. C. Gunderson; 1866, Charles Paulson; 1868, 
J. Paulson ; 1869, Thorsten Anderson ; 1870, E. E. Sevareid. Con- 
stables— 1859, Ole Olson; 1860, Ole Olson, S. Glaz; 1862, Lewis 
Throp; 1863, AVilliam Miller, William Johnson; 1864, AVilliam 
R. Roulet; 1865, William Miller; 1866, William Johnson; 1867, 
William Johnson, William Miller; 1868, Charles Anderson; 1869, 
Thron Julickson, AYilliam Johnson ; 1870, AVilliam Johnson ; 1871, 
Thron Julickson; 1873, Erik Nelson ; 1875 and 1876, John Seven- 
son; 1877, T. I. Laven. Overseers of the poor — 1858, Torger 0. 
Rygh; 1859, John Wing; 1863, Kling Johnson; 1864 and 1865, 
Coelboern Nelson ; 1866, K. J. Naeset ; 1867, Hans H. Holtan ; 
1868, Hans M. Sande; 1869. Torger O. Rygh; 1871, Lars Olson; 
1872 and 1873, Swent Johnson ; 1875, Hans M. Sande. 

The settlements in the township are at Hader. AYanamingo, 
Aspelund and Norway. 



In 1855 a small building was erected by W. Wright between 
sections 25 and 26 of Wanamingo township and in this shack 
were sold some of the necessities of life to the pioneers of those 
days. This store was sold to P. .Miller, who again sold to Smith 
& Lamberg. Their successor was John Kempe and later A. 
Urness. Before the sixties another store had been erected by C. 
Dirstine, whose business was later bought by Hermund Serum. 
Failing in health Serum sold to Martin Halvorson, who continued 
the business until his death, nearly thirty years. 

In those early days Wanamingo was the only trading point 
for the entire surrounding community. The marketing of grain 
and other business matters had to be done at Red Wing, Fari- 
bault or Hastings. About 1856 a postoffice was established and 
received the name of Wanamingo. Later a blacksmith shop was 
erected by Chrislock & Gunderson. This shop was later bought 
by J, J. Tiller. Another shop was erected by C. R. Chrislock, a 
cobbler shop by Hans Isackson and a harness and boot and shoe 
shop by Melchior Munson. A schoolhouse was built and a hotel 
erected by Wm. Miller. Every little while surveying crews were 
out in the neighborhood and rumors had it that one or more rail- 
roads were going to build through. Meanwhile a thriving little 
inland town sprung up and a townsite was platted by private 

In 1857 or 1858 one Clark built a small mill nearly one mile 
further east on the Zumbro river. This mill was bought by Nel- 
son & Norby and a larger mill was erected on the south side of 
the Zumbro river on the town line between Minneola and Wana- 
mingo townships. Later Norby assumed full ownership until 
one-half interest was bought by Fordahl Bros. At present A. J. 
Fordahl is the owner. In 1889 Ole Sletten erected a store just 
opposite the mill. Shortly afterwards a cheese factory was built 
and started in operation by the farmers. This was sold to R. 0. 
Lund, who again sold to Gutzler Bros, of Kenyon. The factory 
was remodeled for a creamery. The company failing, the patrons 
again assumed charge of the creamery in proportion to the 
amount due them for cream delivered. 

September 9, 1893, the first steps were taken for the organi- 
zation of the Diamond Co-operative Creamery Company, which 
name his since been changed to Minneola Creamery Company and 
has become one of the most successful co-operative creamery or- 
ganizations in the state. 

In 1904 the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company 
broadened the narrow gauge track from Wabasha to Zumbrota 
and extended the track to Faribault, at which time the present. 


townsite of Wanamingo was platted by the Milwaukee Land Com- 
pany. The village has experienced a steady growth since the 
townsite was first platted and at present has a population of 
about 200 or more inhabitants. That the place has become one 
of the busiest little villages in southern Minnesota is but a reflec- 
tion on the farming community in which it is located. Wana- 
mingo township was. according to the census of 1900, the richest 
agricultural township in the United States and there is very little 
if any difference in the adjoining townships surrounding the 
village. A genial spirit has existed between the business of the 
village and the farmers of the vicinity. Business enterprises are 
controlled by local capital, the farmers holding a good share. 

The following are business enterprises represented in the vil- 
lage at present : 

The Farmers State Bank of Wanamingo, with a capital of 
$10,000. was organized in 1904 through the efforts of Henry M. 
and Martin Balvorson. The bank received its certificate of or- 
ganization December 2. 1904, and commenced doing business 
February 1. 1905, in their banking house, which had been erected 
(luring the previous fall. Their banking house is a one-story 
brick building, handsomely erected and well equipped with mod- 
ern furniture and fixtures. The stock was subscribed and is held 
by farmers and business men of the community. The bank's busi- 
ness has been guarded by a careful and conservative management 
and has had a marvelous increase until the deposits have reached 
$220,000 and loans $185,000. The bank has a permanent surplus 
fund of $3,500. The directors are: O. Follingstad, X. J. Olness, 
('has. O. Roe. E. B. Lunde, T. Thompson. Hon. C. L. Brusletten, 
Hon. A. J. Bockne, Martin Halvorson and Henry M. Halvorson. 
The officers at present are: O. Follingstad, president; Henry M. 
Halvorson, vice president and secretary: X. J. Olness, vice presi- 
dent; Martin Halvorson, cashier. 

The Minneola Creamery Company was organized December 26, 
1893. The first set of officers were : President, J. B. Locke ; treas- 
urer, O. T. Berg; secretary and manager, Edw. G. Hammer. The 
directors were : Henry Weiss, Henry James. X T . J. Olness and R. 
O. Lund. J. B. Locke, who probably did most to promote the 
organization of the company, served as president until his death. 
O. T. Berg has served as treasurer of the company since organiza- 
tion. R. 0. Lund served as secretary and manager from 1894 to 
1900. Carl Fossum has served in the same capacity since 1900 
The present officers are: President. L. H. Ofstie; secretary and 
manager, Carl Fossum ; treasurer, O. T. Berg. The directors are 
Sam 0. Aslackson, Oscar Steberg. 0. R. Reberg and 0. T. Teigen. 
The company manufactured last year over 550,000 pounds of but- 
ter, which sold for over $125,000. . Business has outgrown the 


present planl and a new building is under construction, which 
will be one of the most modem creamery buildings in the state. 
The building is being- erected from concrete blocks and tile blocks 
with eenient Hours and ceilings and the building is arranged so 
that the products shall be handled to the best advantage and 
labor brought down to the minimum cost. M. A. Swee is the 
present biitterinaker. 

The Farmers Elevator Company was organized July 8, 1905. 
The first set of officers were: President. L. J. Gjemse; vice-presi- 
dent, II. 0. Xaeseth: secretary, .1. A. Norstad; treasurer. Henry 
M. Halvorson. The directors were A. T. Tongen, 0. S. Haugen 
and Alfred Steberg. The company has a paid capital of $4,200, 
owns two well equipped elevator buildings and has a surplus fund 
of $2,500. ( has. O. Roe served as manager from organization 
until .July, 1909. At present II. O. Xaeseth is manager and E. G. 
Rosvold assistant manager. The officers at present are: Presi- 
dent, L. J. Gjemse: vice-president, T. B. Tunks; secretary, P. L. 
Panlsness. and treasurer, E. I. Morkri. The directors are: F. R. 
Miller, A. A. Steberg and Nels Nerison. 

Farmers Mutual Telephone Company of Goodhue County was 
organized in 1903. Has 200 phones and is having a steady growth. 
The officers are: President. O. T. Teigen; vice-president, P. L. 
Paulsness; secretary. A. Pordahl; treasurer, Martin Halvorson; 
directors, P. L. ITstad. O. R. Reberg and L. L. Romo. 

Wanamingo Flour Mills, fifty barrel capacity and feed mill in 
connection ; A. J. Fordahl, proprietor. Milwaukee Elevator Com- 
pany, August Moses, agent. Wanamingo Lumber Company, deal- 
ing in all kinds of building material and coal; H. S. Swan, man- 
ager. Myron & Olson, hardware and machinery; A. 0. Berg 7 
manager. Syverson Bros., hardware and farming implements ; 
Martin Syverson and Adolf Syverson, individual partners. Rom- 
ness Bros., general merchandise. Nels 0. and Halvor 0. Romness 
are the individual partners. J. A. Norstad & Co., general mer- 
chandise; J. A. Norstad. Wanamingo Restaurant, H. N. Setran r 
proprietor. Ree Restaurant, B. M. Ree, proprietor. Johnson 
Telephone Exchange ; L. J. Johnson proprietor. Harness, Shoe 
and Repair Shop; A. Brislance, proprietor. Dealer in Live Stock, 
A. A. Steberg. Meat Market, Paul Jacobson. Livery and dray, 
Richard Tiller. Blacksmith Shop, John Wolf. Photograph Gal- 
lery, C. E. Pearson, who is also postmaster. Weekly Newspaper, 
Wanamingo Progress, Edw. Oredalen, editor. 

The village has a first grade school and a church is being 
erected by the Lutheran Evangelical denomination. The village 
furthermore has good railway, passenger and freight service and 
receives its mail tAvice daily. The citizens are enterprising and 
progressive. Good business blocks are being erected, beautiful 


homes are built and fitted with modern conveniences, and cement 
walks are being constructed. There is no reason why the village 
should not continue to be the common trading point of the sur- 
rounding community and grow as the farming community de- 
mands it. — By Henry Halvorson. 

The Wanamingo, Cherry Grove and Minneola Mutual Fire In- 
surance Company was organized May 27. 1876, in accordance 
with chapter 83 of the general laws of the state of Minnesota, 
approved March 9, 1875. The following named gentlemen signed 
the articles of agreement : Ole P. Floan, N. J. Ottum, Henry Nel- 
son, 0. J. Wing, Ole R. Lund. Peder N. Xesseth, Ole J. Romfo, 
Ole T. Berg, Rognald Olson, John A. Borstad, Ellef Haugesag, 
Ole J. Kvittem, Haagen Nelson. Swen Olsen. Tost en Kleven, Ole 
Aufinson, G. II. Stuvrud, Ever Iverson, Gnnder Bremseth, Lars J. 
Romo, N. A. Stageberg, Peder X. Lerfald, John J. Lilleskov, Hans 
Isackson, Nils 0. Nordly, Thosten Thompson, Haagen Thoreson, 
R. H. Chrislock, Samuel A. Holland. John 0. Baar, Johanes J. 
Marejeren, Lasse N. Morken, Nils K. Fenne and A. J. Barsness. 
The first officers were: President. Ole P. Floan; secretary. N. J. 
Ottum; treasurer, Nils 0. Nordby. The board of directors con- 
sisted of these three gentlemen and Filing Albertson, Ole J. 
Romfo, Ole T. Berg, Ole R. Lund and Peder X. Xesseth. 

During the year 1885, the company enlarged ils territory, ad- 
mitting the following towns: Roscoe. Pine Island. Zumbrota, 
Belle Creek. Leon, Goodhue, Kenyon. Holden and Warsaw, so 
that it now comprises a territory of twelve townships. It has 
grown steadily until at the present time it has a total of 1,150 
persons, holding over 1,200 policies, covering an insurance of 
$2,500,000. The company has. during the time of its existence, 
sustained and paid 563 losses amounting to $48,227.92. During 
the year 1906 a special meeting was held to prolong the com- 
pany's existence for another term of thirty years. At this meet- 
ing all the then existing by-laws were repealed and a new set 
enacted, one more director being added. The present officers 
are : President, O. J. Wing, Wanamingo ; vice president, 0. T. 
Berg. Cherry Grove (Mr. Berg has been a director thirty- three 
years, since the organization of the company) ; treasurer, N. A. 
Stageberg. Wanamingo ; directors, P. 0. Finstuen, Roscoe ; 0. 0. 
Nordvold, Zumbrota ; 0. F. Kalass, Minneola ; Oliver Berg, Pine 
Island ; Edward Rowles, Belle Creek. The company has two spe- 
cial agents, H. 0. Oakland. Yv anamingo ; 0. I. Morkri, Cherry 
Grove. The headquarters are in the township of Wanamingo. 
and the annual meeting is held in the village of Wanamingo on 
the third Saturday of January. The company is now doing an 
immense business of over half a million dollars insurance annu- 
ally. In 1908 it was $546,635, and has been as high as $576,825 

n*uc u 


Martin Halyorsox, Sr. 


in one year. The yearly expenses are very low compared with 
other companies of about the same size. During 1908 it amounted 
to only $596.21. This shows that the company has accomplished 
its object of being a money-saving institution. The insurance 
rate prior to 1906 in this company was three mills on the dollar 
for five-year terms, bu1 this rate proved to be inadequate to de- 
fray expenses to pay the losses, so the rates were raised to five 
mills, and as since January 11. 1906. no assessment has been made, 
it appears that the present rates are sufficient. The following 
report furnished through the kindness of A. H. Tongen, secretary 
of the company, shows the great amount of business done since 
.May 27, 1876. The policies issued have amounted to 5,513, and 
have covered an insurance of $9,272,364. The policies cancelled 
have amounted to 4,319 and have covered an insurance of $6,871,- 
771. This leaves in force 1,194 policies, covering an insurance of 

Receipts — Membership and policy fee, $36,081.05; assessments, 
.+23.284.00; interest. $507.51; borrowed, $795.54; other sources, 
$10.33; total receipts, $60,678.43. 

Disbursements — Losses caused- by lightning (444), +20,170.88; 
losses caused by fire (88), $24,833.80; losses caused by steam 
thresher (19), $967.71 ; (total losses, $45,972.39) ; paid back bor- 
rowed money. $795.54; other expenditures, $12,912.17; total paid 
out. $59,680.10; credit balance. December 31, 1908, $998.33; total, 

Martin Halvorson, Sr., now deceased, was a pioneer merchant 
of "Wanamingo. Quiet in his manners and disposition, he never 
sought public life or office, but his many good qualities endeared 
him to all with whom he came in contact. He was born in Nor- 
way in 1842, and came to America in 1866, locating in AVana- 
mingo township. Soon after arriving in this county he entered 
the employ of H. C. Serum, who kept a general store in Wana- 
mingo village. In 1872, Mr. Halvorson purchased the establish- 
ment and one year later was appointed postmaster, a position he 
held until 1898. His store was a great success, and not only did 
the farmers for miles around seek his place to purchase goods, 
but also to ask advice and to secure Mr. Halvorson 's opinions, 
which were always sure to be sound and good. Mr. Halvorson 
was married in 1873 to Greatha Bjornethun, also a native of Nor- 
way, by whom he had seven children: Henry. Lena (deceased). 
Rev. Jens, now of Ashland, "Wis. ; Lena, now Mrs. (Rev.) M. Thom- 
son, of New Folden, Minn. ; Martin, Frederick, who is on the old 
homestead, and Gustav, a student in the law department of the 
state university at Minneapolis. Mr. Halvorson died in 1899, 
and his widow still survives. 



Warsaw lies on the eastern border of Goodhue county and 
comprises township 11, range 18. It is bounded on the north by 
Stanton, cast by Leon, south by Holden and west by Rice county. 
The Little Cannon river passes along the eastern border, and in 
the valley of this river appears some timber, particularly notice- 
able in the southeastern portion. The larger part of the surface, 
however, is rolling prairie, with deep soil, and consequently many 
fine farms. 

"Happy is the land that has no history." says an ancient 
writer. This is true of Warsaw. Agriculture has been the impor- 
tant industry in the township, and from the earliest settlement 
the story of Warsaw has been one of increased cultivation, 
where the people live in peace and contentment, free from the 
disputes and stirring events which, while they made interesting 
reading, do not always tend to the real benefit or growth of a 
locality. In .June. IS.")."), the northern part of this township was 
sillied by a party of Americans consisting of the brothers. 
Musis. William and Edwin George, Robert McCorkle (some- 
times given ;is McCoskel), I-]. II. Sumner, Washington King, R. 
B. Wilson, -I. E. Wrigb.1 ami Francis McKee. These men at once 
started farming, and while tiny endured the hardships always 
incident to pioneer life, their firsl crops were good, and from 
some of tin' worse privations they were spared. In 1856 a child 
was born to Washington King, a truly important event, and duly 
celebrated by the pioneers, who all wanted to take a peep at the 
little stranger. The following year, 1857, John Chambers died 
and tlie funeral was attended by the entire population of the 
settlement. In the summer of 1858 Rev. Isaac Waldron con- 
ducted the first religious services, in a room of a house owned 
by Alex McKee. In the same room Emma IJabcock kept the 
first school, in the summer of 1859. Mr. Johnson built the first 
blacksmith shop in 1864. and later others were added. 

The settlement in the southern part of the township Avas 
started in 1856, by Anders Anderson, Nils Gunderson, Ole and 
Ha gen Knutson. Andrew Thompson and others. Soon a Nor- 
wegian eolony grew up around them. 

The township was organized in 1858. with N. B. Townsend as 
chairman and J. E. Wright as clerk. Other early chairmen were 

Samuel Carpenter. Abram Towne. J. L. Wells. Rice, 

R. B. Wilson and Chris. Lochren. Among the early clerks were 
William George, Edwin George. T. Bowman. Chris. Lochren and 
George Sheets. 

Warsaw's contribution to the Civil War consisted of: John 
A. Bond. Cyrus Bondurant, Ulrich K. Burk. Joseph E. Charles. 


Swen Christopherson, Clinton L. Babcock, Ole Christopher, 
Lyman S. Kidder, Lot Heustis, William McFall, James C. Rhodes, 
Thomas II. Dailey, Clark Schellenberger, Hiram C. Smith, H. 
Zimmerman, Calvin Daniels, Samuel Eldredge, C. R. Eldredge, 
Levi King, George McKinley, Silas Mills, Ole Nelson, Francis 
J. Ridgeway, Benjamin II. Ridgeway, James II. Wright, Joseph 
E. Charles, Herman Scherf, Swan Hailing, John N. Morrell, 
Andrew Swanberg. Morris Tracy, Ole Torgeson, John Johnson, 
Ole Hendriekson, Andrew Sanborg, Benjamin 0. Bong, Osten 
Anderson, Lewis Kock, Ernest Zahn, Daniel F. Dibble, Patrick 
Gribbin, Edwin R. Nafry, Alfred Alphinson, Augustus Houghton, 
William Mills, Henry Martin, Ole Larson, Walter L. Winton. 

There are three small settlements in the township, Dennison 
in the west, Wangs in the center and Sogan in the eastern part. 

Beautiful, well furnished and well appointed homes, commo- 
dious barns, sleek livestock, rich acres, an educated and cultured 
people, tells the story of Warsaw of the present day. 

Dennison is a village of 170 souls situated on the. western 
boundary line of Warsaw township, being about one-third in 
Rice county. The name is derived from an early settler who 
originally owned considerable land where the village is now 
located. The population of the village is about three-fourths 
Scandinavian. The first men to start in business in the village 
were Karl A. and Gunder Bonhus, who conducted a general store. 
After eight years they were succeeded by A. K. Lockrem. The 
Methodist Episcopal church was built in 1883, blown down in 
1885 and rebuilt the same year. The railroad came through in 
1884, and was operated by the Minnesota & Northwestern. The 
line was then sold to the Chicago, St. Paul & Kansas City, and 
subsequently passed into the hands of the Chicago Great Western. 
The first blacksmith was J. W. Downing. The first hardware and 
implement store was that of Bunday & Ferguson, established 
March 10, 1887. The school bouse is a comfortable building. 
42x45 with four rooms, built of brick. It provides for the chil- 
dren living in the incorporate limits, the districts having origi- 
nally been 34 and 155, respectively, in Rice and Goodhue counties. 
The village now has a bank (branch), one hardware store, one 
lumber yard, three general stores, a harness shop, a postoffice 
with two rural routes, a barber shop, two blacksmiths, one meat 
market, one farmers' elevator, a pastuerizing milk plant, a 
Methodist church and a public school. 

The Dennison State bank is a thriving institution with a 
capital stock of $15,000. The officers are: President, J. C. 
Schmidt ; vice-president, W. T. Schmidt ; cashier, W. W. Wescott ; 
assistant cashier, O. R. Bolen. 



Welch includes the east half of government township 114 
north of range 16 west, and the whole of township 113 north of 
range 16 west, except that part which lies south of the Cannon 
river. It is bounded on the north by the Mississippi river, on 
the east by Burnside, on the south by Vasa and on the west by 
Dakota county. The surface is much broken, but rarely rocky 
except along the immediate bluffs. The valleys are generally 
rich alluvial, but in the northern part of the town the valley 
which is tributary to the Mississippi at Etter .is gravelly and 
sandy, with terraces scantily clothed with crooked oaks and 
bushes. A magnificent view is afforded from the high land near 
the church on the northwest corner of section 15. The mounds 
south of Hastings can be seen distinctly, also the smoke from 
Bastings and the high land above Hastings on each side of the 
St. Croix valley. The middle of the township is rolling prairie, 
the northern portion consists of a large part of Prairie Island, 
bordering the Mississippi and the Vermillion rivers. 

Those interested in the story of Welch should read the early 
history of Burnside, the record of the early days being identical, 
owing to the fact that they were under one government. The 
Indian settlement on Prairie Island is also treated of under the 
head of Burnside in this history. 

Settlers came into Welch, both from Dakota and Goodhue- 
counties, in 1855-56. but these settlers left for what to them 
seemed more desirable locations in more southerly and prairie- 
like townships. These settlers left no record of their occupancy, 
and have now passed from memory. The permanent settlers did 
not come until 1857-58, Welch being the last township to be 
taken up by the homesteaders. Among these permanent settlers, 
were E. W. Carver. William Boothroyd, Michael Henry, John 
Bloom, Gohcham Esta. D. 0. Swanson, Benjamin Beavers and 
N. C. Crandall. 

March 23. 1864, on petition, the board of commissioners 
divided Burnside by setting off the east fractional half of town- 
ship 114, range 16, and all of township 113, range 16, lying north 
of the Cannon river and called it Grant. Another township in 
the state already bore that name, and the state auditor, under 
date of December 31. 1871, directed a change of name. January 
3, 1872, the commissioners took up the matter and changed the 
name to Welch, in honor of the late Major Abram Edwards 
Welch, of Red Wing. 

The first board of officers, while the town still bore the 
name of Grant, were: Supervisors, A. Coons (chairman), Joseph 
Eggleston, Benjamin Bevers; town clerk, J. B. Waugh ; treas- 


urer, M. O'Rourke; assessor, E. "W. Carver; justice, J. B. Waugh; 
constables, P. C. Brown and D. Black. 

On September 6, 1864, a special town meeting was called, 
for the purpose of voting a tax to raise money to pay volun- 
teers to fill the quota required from the town, at which meeting 
it was voted to raise $600 as a bounty to volunteers for the Civil 
War. Another war meeting was held February 11, 1865, for the 
purpose of raising more bounty money. At this meeting it was 
voted to raise $700 to pay volunteers, if they could be obtained, 
and if not, to pay men who stood the draft. E. W. Carver was 
selected to look after the matter of obtaining men to fill the 
town's quota. Those who went to the war from this town were; 
Philo Brown, J. S. Nelson and S. S. Twitchell. 

After the name Of the town was changed to Welch the first 
board consisted of: Supervisors, M. Henry (chairman), Thomas 
Brenner and Michael Hart; clerk, J. S. Nelson. 

A Swedish Lutheran church was erected in 1878, at a cost 
of $4,600. In 1886 a store was built at Welch Mills at a cost of 
$500. In 1900 an elevator was erected at a cost of $1,500. 

The residents of Welch are a happy, prosperous people, who 
have achieved much success in their farming operations. 

Welch Village, formerly called Welch Mills, now has a small 
flour mill with elevator, two stores, a boarding house, two black- 
smith shops, a station on the branch line of the Chicago, Mil- 
waukee & St. Paul and a station across the river on the Chicago 
Great Western. 



Zumbrota Village — Its Situation and Advantages — Modern Zum- 
brota — Water, Sewer and Public Halls — Fire Department — 
Industries — Banks — Hotels — Mills and Elevators — Creamery 
— Fraternities — Village History and Officers — T. P. Kellett's 
Speech — Military Company — Village Schools — Public 
Library — Zumbrota Township — Township Officers Since 
Early Days — Soldiers from This Township. 

Zumbrota Village is rich in historic lore, being one of several 
settlements, projected by eastern people, and designed to be 
places to which should be transported with more roomy sur- 
roundings jiihI wider opportunities, the thrift, education and cus- 
toms of the thickly populated East. To this day, these sturdy 
eastern pioneers remain in the township and village, and form 
the backbone of the community. As elsewhere in the county, the 
sturdy Scandinavians have had their part in the general growth 
and development of the community, while in the village itself 
are many comparative newcomers who have assisted in the mate- 
rial and business progress of Zumbrota 's industrial and commer- 
cial activity. 

The history of this community has been gathered from various 
sources, assisted by Edward F. Davis, editor of the Zumbrota 
"News," while the story of the modern village is largely the 
work of his gifted pen. 

Zumbrota village is the trading center for one of the richest 
agricultural sections of what is acknowledged to be one of the 
richest agricultural states in the Union, commanding a large part 
of the trade of the farmers of Roseoe, Minneola, Pine Island and 
Zumbrota townships, as well as other adjoining country districts. 
It is admirably situated in the midst of a rolling prairie, on the 
north branch of the Zumbro river and on the Northwestern, Great 
Western and Milwaukee railroads, giving it exceptional shipping 
facilities, while well kept wagon roads extending fan-like in all 



directions, make it easy of access to the owners of the rich farms 
within a considerable radius. 

Zumbrota lias been considered by many competent judges to 
be an ideal home town. Near enough to several cities to make 
city attractions and lectures possible, it combines all the best 
features of village and country life, with none of the temptations 
of the city and none of the squalor of city slums. Its schools give 
the children exceptional advantages, and the social features fur- 
nish recreation after busy days of business, professional or agri- 
cultural endeavor. 

Modern Zumbrota has a beautiful high school building, afford- 
ing excellent educational facilities which takes the pupil from 
primary grades through a college preparatory or normal course; 
a Carnegie library; a city and three private halls; a Congrega- 
tional. Methodist. Synod, Norwegian Lutheran, United Norwe- 
gian Lutheran, German Lutheran. English Lutheran, Catholic 
and Episcopal churches, connected with which are the various 
auxiliaries; a Lutheran hospital; several literary societies; an 
annual Lyceum course; a large number of fraternities, and- three 
fraternity halls: a weekly newspaper; a beautiful park; a band, 
and a company of state militia. It also has a large clay manu- 
facturing company: three elevators; a mill; a bank with a capital 
stock of $45,000; two hotels; two lumber yards; one creamery; 
a cement block plant; six general stores; two clothing and dry 
goods stores; two furniture stores: two photograph galleries; 
three barber shops; one horse and auto livery; one garage and 
machine shop; four blacksmith shops; two jewelry stores; one fur 
factory; one meat market; two drug stores; one laundry; one 
bakery; three restaurants; one pool room; one wagon shop: two 
hardware stores; one cigar factory; two harness shops; one shoe 
store: real estate and collection agency; five saloons; four mil- 
linery stores and one tailor shop. Among the advantages which 
makes Zumbrota a valuable place of residence are a perfect sys- 
tem of water works and sewerage; excellent streets and drive- 
ways extending into well kept country roads ; five miles of cement 
sidewalks; good volunteer fire protection; electric lighting plant; 
local and rural telephone system; three telegraph lines, and 
two express companies. 

The professions, aside from the clergy, are represented by one 
lawyer, two dentists, three physicians, one veterinary surgeon 
and one optician. 

Water Works. The water works system was started in the 
summer of 1883 and consisted of three blocks of mains along the 
main street, which were supplied by a pump in the Palmer elevator 
and the water taken from the river. This was for fire protection 
only. Two vears later the system was extended and n 75,000 


barrel reservoir erected on a hill southeast of the village, a well 
dug and a pumping station erected in the village, which now sup- 
plies good, pure water for domestic use as well as for fire pro- 
tection. In 1907 thirteen blocks of six-inch mains were extended 
to various sections of the village. The system is owned by the 
village and under the supervision of the council. 

Sewer System. In 1906 a sanitary sewer system was installed 
and takes care of the business section of the town. A survey of 
the whole village was made, but as yet only seven blocks have 
been installed. 

Halls. There are seven halls in the village, three of which are 
used for lodge purposes, one city hall and three private halls. 
The Odd Fellows hall is owned by Mrs. H. H. Palmer; the Ma- 
sonic, by F. C. Marvin; the Woodmen, by Kolbe & Kalass. The 
private halls are owned by F. C. Marvin. John Anderson and 
Sohn & Trelstad. 

The Zumrota City Hall was built of wood. 00x40 feet, two 
stories, in 1887, at a cost of $4,500, under the supervision .of N. T. 
Wedge, The building committee consisted of S. B. Bartean. C. E. 
Johnson. F. Gr. Marvin and K. S. Sigmund. The building contains 
a hall for public meetings, also the volunteer Ore apparatus, the 
headquarters of the volunteer fire department, and a jail, con- 
sisting of two steel cages. 

Fire Protection. Probably no village in the stale has better 
fire protection than has Zumbrota, and for that reason insurance 
rates are exceedingly low. The village supports a volunteer fire 
department, consisting of ninety men (the third largest in the 
state) winch is divided into three hose companies of twenty men 
each and one hook and ladder truck company of thirty men. The 
apparatus is owned by the city and kept at the city hall. 

Fire Department. The fire department consists of'Hook and 
Ladder Company No. 1, Hose Company No. 1, Royal Hose Com- 
pany and the Clipper Hose Company. There is one hook and 
ladder truck equipped with ladders, hooks, chains, etc.; three 
hose carts each carrying an average of six hundred feet of hose. 
Each company has its own separate organization and officers, who 
are governed by a set of department officers who are elected by 
the whole department. A board of directors consisting of two 
members from each company, the chief presiding, attend to all 
business matters of the department. The department was organ- 
ized August 23, 1883, at which time M. L. Webb was elected the 
first chief ; B. C. Grover, first assistant ; C. E. Johnson, second 
assistant; William B. Bowdish. secretary; H. II. Palmer, treas- 
urer. At that time the department consisted of the hook and 
ladder company and Hose Company No. 1. P. Dickenson was 
elected foreman of the former and Axel Anderson foreman of 


the hitter. The Royal Hose Company was organized February 11, 
1885, and its tirst foreman or captain was C. E. Johnson. The 
Clipper Hose Company was organized October 6, 1896, and after a 
strenuous fight was admitted to the department March 15, 1897. 
Its first captain was Frank W. Yochem. The present officers are 
A. II. Kellett, chief; II. J. Teich, first assistant; Aug. Biersdorf, 
second assistant, E. F. Davis, secretary; II. E. Weiss, treasurer. 

Hospital. The Zumbrota Lutheran Hospital was erected in 
1898 at a <-ost of about $8,000, under the auspices of various Lu- 
theran societies. It is a fine twenty-eight room building, built 
of pressed brick and fitted throughout with modern conveniences. 
It has an ideal location on the outskirts of the village, and it is 
greatly regretted by the people of this vicinity that the institu- 
tion is out of com mission at the present time. However, it is 
expected that within a short time it will again be ready to re- 
ceive patients. 

The principal business houses of Zumbrota are as follows: 
Lumber yards — Wedge, Weiss & Co.. N. T. Wedge, Henry E. 
Weiss, C. L. Grover, proprietors; Marvin Lumber Company, F. L. 
.Marvin, proprietor, AYilliam Croxford. manager. Cement blocks 
— Wedge, Weiss & Co. General stores — New Store, Anto Amli 
and Anton Johnson ; City Grocery store, J. 0. Olson, proprietor ; 
Lee Schafer, Martin Satren. L. J. Henning. 0. N. Berg. Clothing 
and dry goods — The Star, R. R. Sigmond, L. W. Olson; Meyer & 
Johns, Fred W. Meyer and William F. Johns. Furniture stores — 
Langum & Nordvold. J. B. Langum and Adolph Nordvold ; Dan- 
ielson Furniture and Music Company. Charles Danielson, pro- 
prietor, J. A. Boraas, manages. Photograph galleries — A. J. 
Trelstad, 0. G. Stearns. Barber shops— Miller & Ellstrom, J. C. 
Miller and Richard Ellstrom ; R. D. Windslow. Ben Hainan. Horse 
and auto livery — B. 0. Grover & Son (J. D.). Garage and ma- 
chine shop — Skillman & Ness, Lambert Skillman and A. 0. Ness 
Blacksmiths — B. A. Nordly & Son (Arthur), R. A. Gorcler, Joint 
Iloff, Harry Jewison. Wagon shop — H. Keohler. Jewelry stores 
— J. L. Williams, Edward 0. Sohn. Fur factory— Teo. Steelier 
Meat Market— Hartwell & Matchan, E. T. Hartwell and E. M. 
Matchan. Drug stores— A. S. Baken, J. E. Kyllo. Laundry- 
Zumbrota Steam, P. T. Faus. Bakery — City Bakery, Annen 
Olson, proprietor. Restaurants — Axel Anderson and Lena Howe. 
F. W. Johnson. Pool room — F. W. Stary. Hardware stores- 
Myron & Olson, 0. A. Myron and Charles Olson ; Ira D. Warren & 
Son (S. D.). Cigar factory— Henning & NTesseth, George Hen- 
ning and Chris Nesseth. Harness shops — B. A. Kolbe. M. II 
Baskfield. Shoe store— B. A. Kolbe. Real estate and collection 
A. B. Farwell. Telegraph— AVestern Union, E. J. Thomas, a -cut 
at Northwestern; 0. K. Anderson, agenl at Milwaukee depots; 


Postal Telegraph, William Reimer, agent at Great Western depot. 
Wells Fargo Express — William Reimer, agent at Great Western 
depot, and O. K. Anderson, agent at Milwaukee depot. American 
Express — E. J. Thomas, agent at Northwestern depot. Millinery 
— Mrs. J. A. Johnson, Mrs. M. Ofstedahl. Mrs. Xettie Anderson, 
Carrie and Mary Dvergedahl. Tailor — Charles Anderson. Pro- 
fessional men — Attorney. A. J. Roekne : dentists, H. B. AVash- 
burn, L. M. Woodbury; physicians, G. 0. Fortney, 0. 0. Larsen, 
K. Gryttenholm : optician. L. J. Korstad; veterinary surgeon, R. 
C. Xickerson. 

The First State Bank of Zmnbrota whs organized in the spring 
of 1893 by the business men and farmers of Zmnbrota and vicin- 
ity.' The first officers were: President. 0. J. Wing; vice presi- 
dent. Henry Weiss; cashier. P. A. Henning; directors, the three 
above named gentlemen and R. 0. Lund and B.. J. Kelsey. In 
1893 a fine bank building was erected. At the time of the consoli- 
dation with the Security State Bank, August 1, 1909, the capital 
stock was $30,000 and the officers were: President, 0. J. Wing; 
vice president, O. X. Berg: cashier, A. E. Mosher; assistant cash- 
ier. M. H. Powers. Prominently identified with the bank was E. 
S. Person, who succeeded P. A. Henning and served until 1907. 

The Security State Bank, of Zumbrota, was organized June 
19, 1894, by the March Brothers, of Litchfield, with a paid in cap- 
ital of $30,000 and an authorized capital of $100,000. The bank 
opened for business July 2, 1894. with the following officers: 
President. Christian Peterson ; first vice president. Henry Ahne- 
man; second vice president. Martin Halvorson; cashier, F. M. 
March. The first annual meeting was held Jan. 14, 1895, at which 
time the bank deposits were $26,593.91. as shown in the report 
below: Assets 4;4.">.395.61 : banking house, fixtures and furniture, 
$6.538.41 : cash and due from banks. $5,674.66. Total. $57,608.68. 
Liabilities: Capital. $30,000; surplus and profit, $1,014.77; depo- 
sits, $26,593.91. Total, $57,608.68. The annual reports each year 
show an increase in the business. On Jan. 11. 1898. F. G. Marvin 
was elected president of the bank, and on Feb. 17, 1900, H. E. 
AVeiss was elected assistant cashier. On June 13, 1903, F. M. 
March was elected vice president, and H. E. AVeiss elected cash- 
ier. April 8. 1907, F. C. Marvin was elected assistant cashier. 
This bank was consolidated with the First State Bank, Aug. 1, 
1909. Under the new organization the name Security State Bank 
is retained and the name First State Bank is discontinued. Aug. 
15, the business of the consolidated banks, roughly estimated, 
was as follows : Capital, surplus and profit, $45,000 ; deposits, $300,- 
000; loans and discounts. $276,000: banking house furniture. $10,- 
000; cash and discounts. $52,000. The present officers are: Presi- 



dent, F. G. Marvin; vice president, A. J. Rockne; cashier, E. E. 
Weiss; assistants, A. E. Mosher and C. Marvin. 

The Zumbrota House was built in October, 1856, consisting at 
that time of only a small wing. It was erected and kept by Ezra 
Wilder. The hotel building was then 20x60, two stories. Mr. 
Wilder sold the place to G. R. Slosson, who in turn sold it to Fred 
George in 1872. In the spring of 1872, Mr. George built, a two- 
story front, 20x70. The present proprietor is E. Molke. 

The Midland House was built in June, 1877, by George W. 
Cunningham. The main building was 22x40, two stories, with 
wing, 18x60. Mr. Cunningham kept the house until March 1, 
1878, when he leased it to J. R. Clark. This hotel is now known 
as the New Hotel and is conducted by J. Schmidt, having recent- 
ly been renovated and improved. 

The Forest Mills were put up by William S. Wells and H. H. 
Palmer in 1867-68. This was the only market which the farmers 
in the vicinity had in the early days except Red Wing, and con- 
sequently the mill did a flourishing business for many years. 
Activity at this point consisted of a cooper shop, a flour mill and 
stores, and the settlement at one time bid fair to efface Zum- 
brota. Old settlers tell of often going there to unload their grain 
and being obliged to take their turn in a line of teams over a 
mile long. The railroads at Zumbrota and Mazeppa, however, 
brought the business to those places and the mill was idle for a 
number of years. Five years ago it was purchased by Theo. 
Stecher, who has greatly improved the mill and practically re- 
built a new dam. and now operates it as a grist mill. 

The Zumbrota Creamery was erected by the Crescenl Cream- 
ery Company, of St. Paul, during the fall of 1884, who operated 
it about eighteen years. The building was erected by C. E. Mar- 
vin and E. A. Cammack, W. H, Squire being superintendent of 
the construction. The company's first manager was R. Londick, 
and he was succeeded by F. W. Stary. The latter was head man 
at the place for sixteen years. About nine years ago the Crescent 
people sold out to R. O. Lund, who continued the business about 
five years, when he sold to E. G. Hammer, who took possession 
October 1, 1906. E. A. Mann hauled the first can of cream to the 
creamery during the fall of 1884. On June 13, 1907, the old 
creamery was destroyed by fire and before the ashes were cold 
a new modern building was in course of erection and was com- 
pleted and installed with machinery and running in a little over 
a month. The new building and machinery is estimated a1 ^7.000. 
The yearly output of the creamery is about 100.000 pounds, and 
it receives cream for a radius of sixty miles around this territory. 

The Van Duzen Elevator was the first elevator to be erected 


in Zumbrota and was completed in 1878. On November 20 of the 
same year F. G. Marvin took charge of the company's interests 
and continued as their local manager for nearly thirty years, or 
up to August 1, 1908. A. E. Collinge succeeded Mr. Marvin as 
local manager. 

The Palmer Elevator, as it is now called, was erected in 1880 
by Wiljiam Wells, and its first manager was H. E. Talmaclge, now 
a resident of Red Wing. AY ells sold the elevator to H. H. Palmer, 
who continued to run it with James Hall as his manager. Later 
J. 0. Jones leased it and bought grain independently. It was closed 
for some years and in 1908 was purchased from the Palmer 
estate by the Red Wing Malting Company, who installed Ed. 
Kolbe as their local buyer. Mr. Kolbe resigned August 1, 1909, 
and O. A. Stondahl succeeded him. 

The Farmers' Elevator, of Zumbrota was organized by farm- 
ers in 1898. The first president was E. A. Bigelow. and N. T. 
Naeseth was the first manager. Those who have served as presi- 
dents are: Lou'* Starz, Josiah Lothrop and Oliver Berg. The 
secretaries have been: Fred Elwell. B. A. Colbe, Bond Olson. A. 
( '. Ylvasaker and O. 0. Nordvold. Treasurers: Josiah Lothrop, 
Louis Starz. Henry Weiss. 

Rialroads. The first railroad to reach Zumbrota was started 
at Wabash in 1877 by the Minnesota Midland Company, whose 
capital was exhausted before they had built many miles. The 
Milwaukee road picked up the construction and finished the road 
to Zumbrota in 1878. That same year the Rochester & North- 
western (now the Northwestern) run a branch from Rochester 
to this A'illage. Both lines came in here at the same time and 
both claimed a* portion of the right of way at the foot of Main 
street. Early residents tell of a pitched battle between the two 
track laying crews to see who would get possession of the dis- 
puted ground. "The Milwaukee road was operated as a narrow 
gauge until June 7. 1903, during which year it was extended 
through to Faribault and on November 9, 1903, the first standard 
gauge train passed over the roadbed. The Rod Wing & Iowa 
road was built in here from Red Wing in 1888. Later it became 
the property of the Duluth, Red Wing & Southern and in 1902 
that company sold it to the Great AVestern. who extended it 
through to Rochester the following year. Thus Zumbrota now 
has three roads running into the village, affording excellent pas- 
senger and shipping facilities. 

Telephones. The long distance telephone from Zumbrota to 
Kenyon was the result of the efforts of Dr. Ch. Grondvold and 
Dr. K. Gryttenholm. The former, however, died in 1895 and the 
negotiations were left to Dr. Gryttenholm. who raised about 


$2,000 among the farmers ami the village residents. Dr. Grytten- 
holm corresponded with both the Northwestern Telephone Com- 
pany and the I nion Electric Telephone Company of Iowa, with 
the result that the former built the line. It was completed in 
the fall of 1895 from Zombrota and Kenyon with a side line to 
Hader and Aspelund. In 1897 the line was sold to the North- 
western Telephone Company. The first local telephone franchise 
in Zumbrota was granted to L. D. Ward October 31, 1899, who 
erected a few poles and had a small system in operation for about 
a year, when he sold out to Elmer Peek. Mr. Peck ran the sys- 
tem about two years, when he sold to Matchan, Vickstrom & 
Ward, who operated it for one year and then sold to J. I. Howe. 
In February, 1905, Howe sold to Messrs. F. G. and F. C. Marvin, 
who have extended the system into the country districts and have 
an up-to-date service in every respect. 

Electric Lights. Elmer Peck erected and equipped the first 
electric light plant in Zumbrota, getting a franchise in October, 
1898. The first plant was established in a building on what is 
now the Great Western right of way and was located between 
the Northwestern and Great Western tracks about tw r o hundred 
yards west of Main street. In the early nineties the building 
was moved to its present location at the foot of Main street on 
the bank of the Zumbro river. Person & Co. purchased the plant 
from Mr. Peck and after running it four years sold to C. D. Den- 
nison, the present proprietor. 

The Zumbrota "News" was started in 1885 by a stock com- 
pany, with W. W. Kinne as first editor and manager, which posi- 
tion he held for several years, after which Herman Anderson be-, 
came the editor. Later Mr. Kinne resumed charge of the paper. 
Subsequently Mr. Anderson purchased the paper from the stock- 
holders, and in 1897 sold to A. J. Rockne. In 1900 E. F. Davis 
became part owner with Mr. Rockne, and is now the editor. The 
"News" is a newsy paper, has well written editorials, and 
through its local columns keeps the people of southern Goodhue 
county well acquainted with the doings in their part of the world. 
In addition to these features, a generous supply of general rend- 
ing and a resume of the national and foreign news of the week 
makes the paper a welcome visitor in some thousand homes. A 
large job printing establishment is operated in conned ion with 
the paper. The firm is now conducted under the name of Rockne 
& Davis. 


The fraternal spirit was early manifest in the village of Zum- 
brota, and in the early seventies the larger national societies were 
well represented by lodges in this place. 


Herman Lodge, No. 41, A. F. and A. M., received its charter 
October 24, 1866, with William Bickford, W. M.; H. H. Palmer, 
S. W,, and James L. Scofield, J. W. The first meeting was held 
in a building owned by Mr. Blanchard, on Main street. After 
being located in different places, in 187:1 they rented a hall of 
S. B. Barteau, where they have held forth ever since. The pres- 
ent officers are P. W. Mook, W. M.; M. H. Powers, S. WV; J. D. 
Grover, J. AV. ; J. H. Barnett, S. D. ; L. M. Woodbury, J. D. ; C. L. 
Grover, S. S'.; Robt. Priebe, J. S. ; T. D. Seward, Tyler; A. B. 
Farwell, secretary.; H. E. Weiss, treasurer. 

Esther Chapter, No. 4, Order of the Eastern Star, was granted 
a charter June !>. 1874, with the following officers: Isaac AV. 
Blake, AV. P.; Airs. Climena Blake, AV. AL, and Marion C. George, 
A. Al. 

Mount Carmon Chapter, No. 23, was granted a charter June 
25, 1874. with H. H. Palmer, H. P.; S. S. Worthing, K. : O. H. 
Hall, S. 

Zumbrota Lodge, No. 154, I. 0. G. T., was organized January 
24. 1877. with twenty-four charter members. The charter officers 
were: D. B. Scofield. AV. C. T. : Amanda Dam. W. V. T. ; Ed 
Mitchell, secretary, and Airs. D. B. Scofield, treasurer. 

Scofield Post, No. 121, G. A. R., was organized September 9, 
1884, the post being named for James and Amos Scofield, the 
former of whom died of sickness while in the army and the latter 
of whom was killed in battle. The charter members Avere : Edgar 
Stacey, deceased; H. W. Cooledge, Zumbrota; I. D. AVarren, Zum- 
brota; L. T. Ward, deceased; J. AI. Beeman, deceased; B. D. 
Woodbury, St. Paul; C. Daniels. South Dakota; F. D. AVebb, Chi- 
cago; ( '. Eastman, Soldier's Home; H.J. Eastman, Zumbrota; J. 
Hickock. unknown ; Ole Strand, deceased ; II. AI. Scofield. Zum- 
brota ; J. H. Reeves, Glasgow; D. L. Druse. Washington; AV. E. 
Alosher. Zumbrota; H. AV. Squire, South Dakota; L. S. Judd, 
Alora ; AI. L. AVebb. AVashington ; G. G. McCoy, Zumbrota; Louie 
Abend, deceased; P. D. Willard, deceased; 0. H. Hall, St. Paul; 
D. Bugby. AViseonsin; C. A. Leach, Zumbrota; Clark Rogers, de- 
ceased: AV. A. Black, North Dakota; Adolph Hoff. deceased. 
Those who have joined since are : G. AV. Giles, Zumbrota ; S. C. 
Holland, deceased; Sam Anclrist, Zumbrota: William Fulkerson, 
deceased ; Bond Olson, deceased ; J. P. Rians, unknown ; AV. E. 
Seckerson, Chatfield ; J. L. Annis, Zumbrota; AV. B. Dickey, de- 
ceased: J. R. Hemmingway. Zumbrota: X. L. Diekenson, Zum- 
brota ; Charles Gholtz. AVashington ; P. L. Dickenson. North Da- 
kota; Frank AVyman, AVest Concord; Ared AVoodworth. Ala- 
zeppa ; Josiah Lothrop, Zumbrota; K. B. Bennett. AViseonsin; R. 
C. Morgan, deceased; M. C. Morgan, Zumbrota; Aaron Getty, 


deceased; J). 15. Seofield, deceased; John Danielson, South Da- 
kota: Joab Irish, unknown; S. Y. Cranson, Goodhue; William 
Bonham, deceased; Win. Doxy, deceased; Philip Yochem, Zuni- 
brota; Robert Parker, Goodhue; D. AY. Williams, unknown; R. 
II. F. Williams. Colorado; 0. T. Berg, AYanamingo; F. W. Lang- 
worthy. New York; Eleck Albertson, Zumbrota; G. A. Seitz, 
Rochester; X. ( '. Adams, Zumbrota; John Egan, Zumbrota; John 
Johnson, AYanamingo; Leander Watson, deceased. The twenty- 
fifth anniversary of the post occurred on September 16, and an 
appropriate celebration was held in the hall on September 18, 
1909. In a speech delivered on that occasion II. M. Seofield de- 
clared that there are now forty members living, the oldest of 
whom is Captain G. G. McCoy, who is 85. Next conies H. M. 
Seofield and S. Y. Cranston, each of whom is 78. The youngest 
member is H. Eastman, age 63. The officers at the time of or- 
ganization were : Com., Ira D. Warren ; Sr. Y. C, G. G. McCoy ; 
Jr. Y. C, M. C. Morgan; chaplain, Ff. M. Seofield; quartermaster, 
AY. H. Squire; adjutant, II. W. Cooledge ; officer of the day, AY. 
E. Mosher; officer of the guard, O. A. Strand; surgeon, 0. H. Hall. 
The present officers are: Com., Josiah Lothrop; Sr. Y. C, 0. N. 
Berg; Jr. Y. C, A. Albertson; chaplain. H. M. Seofield; quarter- 
master, AY. E. Mosher; adjutant. X. C. Adams; officer of the day, 
< 'harles Leach; officer of the guard. J. C. Annis; quartermaster 
sergeant, X. L. Dickinson; Sergeant major, John Egan; surgeon, 
John Hemingway. 

Seofield Post No. 84, W. R. C, was organized April 8, 1892, 
with the following charter members : Mrs. S. E. Lothrop, Airs. 
A. J. Hall, Airs. H. P. Abend. Airs. AI. A. Cooper, Airs. S. AI. Hall, 
Airs. J. C. Seofield, Airs. S. X. Ward, Airs. J. C. Black, Airs. Julia 
Friedrich, Airs. Rosina Reenes, Airs. J. E. Alosher, Mrs. Rose 
Dickinson, Airs. AI. II. Linton, Airs. AI. F. Mann, Airs. Climena 
Blake, Airs. AI. L. Rust, Airs. E. AI. B. Seofield, Airs. Ellen E. 
Stacy. Airs. Cornelia Rogers, Airs. Alaggie AYatson, Airs. E. R. 
Canfield, Airs. L. H. Grover, Ena R. AYoodbury, Carrie A. Alor- 
gan, D. A. AYarren, A. J. Danse, Sophia Danielson, AI. AI. AYeather- 
head, Ermina B. Schofield, Alanda Eastman, Rose Eastman and 
Lothe Black. The present membership is thirty-four. The pres- 
ent officers are: Pres., Airs. A. J. Hall; senior vice pres.. Airs. AI. 
J. AYoodbury; junior vice pres., Airs. J. Friedrich; secretary, 
Airs. E. R. Woodbury; treasurer, L. AI. Judd : chaplain. Alary 
Adams; guard, Airs. L. J. Grover; pat. inst., Airs. S. E. Lothrop. 

Zumbro Tribe, No. 63, I. 0. R. M., was organized January 1. 
1901, with the following charter members: John A. Johnson. 
Nels E. Koppang, Th. AYetzel, Edward Cain. Herman J. Teich, 
Fred Lohman, John 0. Finney. John H. Stenerscn, Peter Opem. 


A. Olson, Dr. G. H. Crary, C. W. Rabel, J. J. Olsness, Charles 
Hem, J. H. Houck, Jr., Aug. King, William J. McWaters, Eric 
0. Swenson, John L. McAVaters, P. Zimmerman, A. H. AVestby, 
Martin Opfer, W. C. Lohman, I. T. Avelsgaard, Thos. G. Nesseth, 
S. Lexvold, L. 0. Sehram, A. N. Anderson, Iyer Johnson, PI. J. 
Eastman, John Houek, Sr., L. L. Johnson, D. Buntje, Oliver 
Olson, Richard Elstrom and William Yerka. The first officers 
were : Sachem, John Houck, Jr. ; senior sagamore, Oliver Olson ; 
junior sagamore, II. J. Teich; prophet, John McWaters; keeper 
of records. Ed Cain; keeper of wampum, .John A. Johnson. The 
present officer are: Sachem, August King; senior sagamore, A. 
H. AVestby; junior Sagamore, Annen Olson; prophet. Louis 
Houek; keeper of records, II. J. Teich; keeper of wampum, J. A. 


Zumbrota Lodge, No. 72, I. 0. 0. F., was organized September 
13, 1879, with the following charter members: B. F. Chamberlain, 
T. N. Lee, G. B. Anderson, C. E. Johnson, D. B. Scofield, I. W. 
Blake, AY. E. Powers. I). P. Mason, P. AY. Fulkerson, G. B. Wright 
and E. T. Lothrop. The present officers are : N. G., James Hoff- 
man ; vice grand, Theo. Hartwell ; secretary, James Annis ; treas- 
urer, AVilliam Croxford ; supporters, E. J. Thomas, G. Freeman 
and John Langsdorf; warden, Robert Priebe; inside guard, John 
Houck, Sr. 

Zumbrota Lodge, No. 178, Knights of Pythias, was organized 
July 1, 1905. The first officers were : C. ( !., AI. II. Powers ; V. C, 

F. C. Marvin; P., G. C. Hoff; M. of AY., H. B. Washburn; K. of 
R. S., J. R. Johnson; M. of F., II. E. Weiss; M. of E.. C. A. Has- 
kins; AI. of A.. Alax Braum ; I. G., AVilliam R. Poison; 0. G., J. 
T. Hovland. The present officers: C. C, J. T. Fuller; V. C, B. A. 
Kolby; P.. AVilliam Reiiner; M. of AV., Annen Olson; K. of R. S., 
A. B. Farwell; AI. of F., H. E. AVeiss; AI. of E., H. B. AVashburn; 
AI. of A., G. 0. Fortney ; I. G., AI. H. Powers. 

Zumbrota Rebekah Lodge, No. 125, received its charter April 
2, 1902, the members at that time being as follows: D. B. Scofield, 

G. F. Freeman, C. 0. Bonham, II. K. Kuehner, J. L. Annis, N. Boy- 
sen, A. E. Collinge. Ed. Cain, E. F. Davis, James Hoffman, H. J. 
Klein, J. H. Langsdorf, E. AI. Matchan, J. H Houck, Sr., E. L. 
Peck, R. F. Priebe, F. N. Stary, E. At. B. Scofield, I. B. Freeman, 
N. B. Bonham, J. Kuehner, E. Annis, C: Boysen, M. Collinge, R. 
Casey, L. Johnson, A. Hoffman, B. Lovejoy, A. Langsdorf, B. 
Alonson, J. Alatchan, L. B. Houck, Alary Nickerson, Grace Poole, 
J. Peck, A. S. Priebe, C. W. Rogers, G. Stary and L. AVeaver. The 
present officers are : District deputy, A. E. Collinge ; N. G., Airs. 
C. Rogers; V. G.. Julia Korstad ; secretary, Airs. A. Hoffman; 
treasurer, Mrs. A. E. Collinge; chaplain. Airs. John Houek: inside 


guard, James Hoffman; financial secretary, Mrs. W. Johnson; 
-warden, Mrs. R. Priebe; supporters to N. G. and V. G., A. E. Col- 
linge and E. J. Thomas. 

Zumbrota Lodge, No. 645, Modern Brotherhood of America, 
received its charter February 30, 1900, with the following mem- 
bers : Herman W. Kuehner, John A. Secor, Henry J. Klein, H. 
F. Runnels, Addie M. Hoffman, James M. Hoffman, John C. Mil- 
ler, Perry H. Rowley, Josephine Kuehner, Robert Priebe, Clifton 
0. Bonham, F. Marion AVatts, Aug. C. Biersdorf, Edward W. 
Matehan, Charles W. Rabel, Robert E. Matthews, Lafayette H. 
Watts, Athelia I. AVatts, Alfred E. Collinge, Nina A. Runnels, 
Christ Peterson, Ole A. Ness, John H. Houck, Jr., Nellie S. Watts, 
William Croxford, Elmer S. Peck, Fred J. Weckerliug, Lewis C. 
Shedd, Lyman D. Ward, John E. Crewe, Alice L. Casey, Joseph 
J. Hanson, Nels T. Nesseth. President, F. M. Watts; vice presi- 
dent, Louis Houck ; secretary, Frank Fulkerson ; treasurer, A. E. 
Collinge; Chaplain, Robert Matthews; escort, F. Weckerling; 
outside sentry, Aug. Biersdorf; inside sentry, Robert Priebe. 

Zumbrota Camp, No. 252, Modern Woodmen of America, was 
organized November 21, 1887, and the first officers were as fol- 
lows : Venerable counsel, J. C. English ; worthy advisor, J. H. 
Peabody; excellent banker, II. Koehler; clerk, E. C. Bennett; 
escort, W. L. Nye; watchman, L. Hailing; sentry, Philip Yochen ; 
local physician, H. L. McKinstry; managers, J. H. Peabody, C. R. 
MeKinstry and W. L. Nye. The present officers are: Venerable 
counsel, William Croxford; worthy advisor, Fred Weckerling; 
excellent banker, H. Koehler; clerk. A. E. Collinge; escort, J. L. 
Williams; watchman, Louis Opfer; sentry, Aug. Miller; local 
physician, Dr. G. 0. Fortney ; managers, Louis J. Henning, A. 
Amli and W. S. Collinge. 

Zumbrota Council, No. 30, Modern Samaritans, received its 
charter May 1, 1901, and at that time the members were as fol- 
lows : Louis Satren, Edward S. Person, Stephen D. Sour, Will- 
iam G. Langworthy, B. A. Kolbe, Walter C. Rowell. Charles L. 
Grover, Henry W. Yochem, Louis J. Korstad, Herman Koehler, 
E. A. Kellett, Herman F. Kalass, Ole T. Thoreson. Frederick AV. 
Yochem, Elmer L. Peck, R. R. Sigmond, Oscar M. Nelson. Mar- 
shall A. Nelson, Edward H. F. Weckerling, Hans O. Vollan. Emil 
V. Ramharter, Henry E. AVeiss. John Stoudt. Edward F. Davis. 
J. E. Crewe, Frank E. Marvin, Charles Berg. Igiuar T. Avels- 
gaard, Edward S. Nelson, Henry J. Klein, Ole N. Berg. Edward 
C. F. Kalass, A. AV. Swanson, Andrew Samuelson, Eben Y. Ban- 
croft, George G. Marvin, Richard S. Ellstroin, Ole A. Myron, 
Frank E. Judd, Roy Peter Sigmond, John A. Secor. AV. Scott 
"Van de Bo'gart, Ernest E. Peck, George IT. Wareham and Olaf 


E. Hoff. The present officers are as follows: G. S., Louis Houck; 
V. G. S., William Langsdorf ; scribe and financier, A. E. Alosher; 
treasurer, William Croxford; high priest, G. Gunderson; chief 
messenger, Fred AYeckerling; P. G. S., L. J. Henning. 

Trondhjem Lodge, No. 51, Sons of Norway, was organized 
August 1, 1905, with the following members: Carl G. Ofstie, 
Arne H. Westby, Severin J. Floor, Iver Peterson, S. A. Lexvold, 
C. K. Kolstad, P. A. Merseth, Carl R. Erslaud, Thorwald Lien, 
Peder Fredrickson. Theodore Thompson, Hofgen Klaven, G. 0. 
Reppe. J. M. Holtan, Friek 0. Swenson, Oscar Reppe, John Peter- 
son, Henry Martin Medehill, Iver E. Loken, T. C. Siversen, I. N. 
Johnson, K. E. Gryttenholm, Knut Berg, Johan A. Nerhaugen and 
Xcls E. Koppang. The present officers are: President, A. H. 
Westby; vice president, Knut Berg: secretary, Nels Koppang; 
treasurer, Severt Lexvold ; regent. I*. Neeseth; marshall, II. 
Klaven; inside warden. Iver Johnson: chaplain, J. Nerhaugen. 

Zumbrota Lodge, No. 43, Ancient Order United Workmen, 
was organized March 9, 1878. with the following officers: P. Ai. 
W., B. C. Grover; .M. W., I. Bingham, Jr.; G. F., A. B. Cogswell; 
0., C. M. Bingham; recorder, D. B. Scofield; financier, D. B. Sen- 
field; receiver, George Person; G., A. A. Chase; I. W.. 0. I. Hall: 
O. W.. J. •). Callahan. During the financial depression, the so- 
ciety almost went ont of existence, but is now one of the most 
flourishing lodges in the village. The present officers are: AI. W., 
Louis Ilonck; G. F.. W. F. Mosher; <).. Aug. Biersdorf; recorder, 
E. A. Carroll; receiver. X. C. Adams; financier. Aug. Biersdorf; 
G., O. A. Xess: I. W., John Houck, Sr.; 0. AY.. Peter Henion. 


The village of Zumbrota was platted on the northwest and 
southwest quarters of section 31, in September, 1856, on land 
that had previously been entered by Aaron Doty. Doty was a 
bachelor, and in the employ of 0. W. Smith, who was the prac- 
tical owner, but who could not pre-empt land because he was a 
land speculator. The owners of the townsite were the members* 
of the Strafford Emigration Company. Bailey and Thompson 
made an addition which is called North Zumbrota, in 1857. The 
west addition was made by Josiah Thompson, on section 36, 
Minneola township. The first house was built by C. AY. Smith. 
It was a log structure, 14x18, and was erected on the south bank 
of the Zumbrota river. In 1857, Smith moved away, and was last 
heard of in Bay City, Michigan. The first store building was 
erected in October, 1856, by Thomas P. Kellett, in which he kept 
the first store. Lizzie Shedd taught the first school in the fall of 
1857. A public school building, erected in 1866. 30x42. was 


burned in 1870. A two-story frame structure, partitioned into 
four rooms, was erected the same year. 

The ad incorporating the village of Zumbrota passed the state 
legislature February If), 1877, the petitioners being J. A. Thacher, 
T. P. Kellett and George Person. The first meeting of the voters 
in the village was held February 27, 1877, in Parker's hall. The 
judges of election were I. C. Stearns and E. T. Halbert. The 
clerk was S. G. (adv. The returns were sworn to before D.. B. 
Scofield as justice of the peace. The first meeting of the village 
council was held in April, 1877. J. A. Thacher was the first presi- 
dent of the village; John Anderson, George Person and T. P. 
Kellett were the first trustees; A. C. Rostacl was recorder, Will- 
iam Dorman was treasurer, D. B. Scofield was justice and L. 
Summers was constable. In 1886 the village was separated from 
the township. The presidents of the council since 1877 have 
been: 1877-78, J. A. Thacher; 1879, H. Blanchard; 1880-81-82-83, 
H. H. Palmer; 1884, E. V. Canfield; 1885-86-87-88, S. B. Barteau, 
Sr.; 1889, William F. Bevers; 1890-91, John Anderson; 1892-93-94, 
S. B. Barteau, Jr.; 189."). William F. Bevers; 1896-97, Louis Starz; 
1898-99, A. W. Eddy; 1900, A. J. Rockne ; 1901, F. M. March; 
1902-03, E. Woodbury; 1904. Paul C. Kalass; 1905-06-07. James 
H. Farwell; 1908-09, M. II. Baskerfield. The clerks have been: 
1877-78, A. C. Rostad; 1879-80-81, S. G. Cady; 1882-83-84-85-86-87, 

C. E. Johnson ; 1888-89, T. N. Lee ; 1890-91-92-93-94-95-96-97-98-99, 
W. W. Kinne; 1900-01-02, H. T. Banks; 1903-04, H. E. Weiss; 
1905-06-07, E. F. Davis; 1908-09, M. H. Powers (removed from 
village). The present officers of the village are: President, M. H. 
Baskerfield; trustees, Leo Schafer, Theodore Stecher and Charles 
Olson ; recorder. Albert Severson ; treasurer, A. E. Mosher ; as- 
sessor, R. J. Staiger; marshall, James L. Annis; justices, P. W. 
Mook and A. H. Kellett. 

A speech delivered many years ago by T. P. Kellett contains 
much of interest to the seeker after facts regarding the early 
days of Zumbrota. After speaking of his arrival in 1856. Mr. 
Kellett said : On the first Sabbath day three of us, enough to 
"claim the blessing," held a meeting in a small log house or 
shanty, eight by ten, standing not far from where Mr. Skillman's 
house was later erected, and judging the feelings of others by my 
own, I must say that our worship was not in vain. And from 
that time to this, with but few if any exceptions, some sort of 
religious meeting has been held every Sabbath. (It mighl here 
be noted that the first public religious observance in the town 
was the prayer made by Albert Barrett at the funeral of John 
Cameron, who was buried not far from where the residence of 

D. W. Mclntire was later erected.) 


In the spring of 1857 the first bridge was built over the north 
branch of the Zumbro river and eovered with sided poplar poles, 
and these poles did service as a covering or, more properly, a 
flooring for three years and then the bridge was floored with 
plank. In the year 1862. 1 believe, a new bridge was built with 
an additional bent in the middle. In the following winter that 
middle bent was knocked oui by the ice and senl down the river. 
Tli£ bent was replaced only to be knocked out again by the next 
winter's breakup. In the year 1869 a more substantial structure 
was erected. Note: This bridge still remains and is preeminently 
the Zumbrota landmark.) In the spring of 1857 a Congrega- 
tional Society was organized and all professing Christians of all 
denominations, with all others favorable to religious services, 
united cordially in supporl of such services on the Sabbath. In 
tlm summer of 1857 the public hall was buill and furnished, a 
place for meetings and schools Tor a uumber of years. In the 
fall of L857 came the greal financial m-isis. which made the great 
financiers of the country tremble in their hoots. We people of 
Zumbrota, however, did not feel its effecl until the spring of 
1858, and those of lis who were here during that year have 
doubtless a very vivid recollection of those hard times. If we 
could blol thai year from our past record, the record would be 
more pleasing retrospect than it is. Doubtless there are men 
among us now in good circumstances and position, who can look 
back to tlnil year of rutabagas and corn cake, and feel thankful 
that their lines have since fallen in mure pleasanl places. The 
crisis jusl referred to was the means of retarding the settlement 
of Zumbrota for many years. .Men who had planned to move 
OUl here with their families were unable to do so because they 

were unable to sell their property in the East. Bence our growlh 
was very slow for some years after the first set 1 lenient. Then 
came the war of the rebellion, which seemed to upset all previous 
calculations. All we could exped to do during those dark days 
was to maintain a mere existence. At the call for volunteers 
some of oui- very worthy young men enlisted and went into active 
service in defense of the government. Amos Scofield. (ieorge 
Scofield. John Morrell. William Peck. Edward Davis, and others, 
are all sleeping in southern graves today, but the mere mention 
of their names touches a tender spot in many of our hearts. 

In the years of 1862-63 was built our first church, and in 1866 
was built our first school building. Soon after the building of the 
Congregational church just referred to, our Baptist friends, who 
for some time had been worshiping as a separate organization, 
built them a nice little church, and later the Methodist Episcopal 
society built themselves a comfortable place of worship." 



Company D, Zumbrota By E. F. Davis)— In the early spring 
of 1885 a handful of young men met in the old Parker hall to 
take the preliminary steps for forming a state militia company 
in Zumbrota. The company was first known as the ''Zumbrota 
Guards, reserve militia," and was mustered into service March 
6, 1885. by ('apt. A. P. Pierce of Red Wing. John Stenersen was 
the first captain and the charter members were as follows: J. H. 
Stenersen, P. F. Ryder, Dan Dyerson, F. G. Mitchell, Charles E. 
Kolbe. Bert Pease, William Rogers, Herman Shirley, Tim Ma- 
honey, Willis George, S. B. Scott, Fred Steelier. Amos Scofield, 
II. B. Carpenter, C. E. Johnson, Carl L. Strom. M. L. Webb, A. W. 
Thomas, J. C. Powers, Leroy Carley, Fred Caffee, C. H. Stearns,. 
Leo Schafer. Albert Woodbury, William Clemens and Frank 
Halbert. Willis George and -I. C. Powers were elected first and 
second lieutenants, respectively, with C. H. Stearns first sergeant 
and ('. E. Johnson se.-ond sergeant. M. L. Webb was first cor- 
poral and R. R. Sigmond second corporal. During the first few 
years of the existence of the company the members were com- 
pelled to furnish their own uniforms, the only thing the state 
supplied being the old 50-caliber rifles, belts and bayonets. At 
the end of the first year J. II. Stenersen resigned to accept a 
place on Gov. L. F. Hubbard's staff and C. E. Johnson was 
elected to fill his place. In October. 1885, Willis George re- 
signed and C. H. Stearns was elected first lieutenant. 

The Third Regiment was organized in 1887. at which time the 
Zumbrota Guards became Company D of that organization, and 
have held their title. ever since, being now the oldest company in 
the state of Minnesota and having the distinction of furnishing 
more field and staff officers than any other company in their 
regiment. At the first encampment in 1888 there were only 
eighteen men, who served without pay. This little group showed 
such enthusiasm that there was a much larger number thereafter, 
although it took a great deal of hard work on the part of Capt. 
Johnson, as the members received absolutely no aid from the 
state. In March, 1887, Lieut. Powers resigned and was succeeded 
by Sergt. William Clemens. The latter resigned in August, 
1887. and was succeeded by Private Thomas Brusegaard. In 
March, 1888, Lieut. Stearns resigned and Sergt. Leo Schafer was 
elected in his place. Capt. Johnson resigned in 1891 to take the 
position of major and C. H. Stearns became the third captain of 
the company. LTnder his command the members went to Chicago 
to take part in the dedication of the World's Fair buildings. 
Shortly after this Capt. Stearns and Lieut. Schafer resigned and 
First Sergt. E. S. Person was elected captain and Sergt. W. W. 


Kimie first lieutenant. The company again visited the World's 
Fair and took part in the Minnesota Day parade, which was 
during the fall of 1893. Capt. Person was untiring in his efforts 
to bring the company up to a high standard, and during the en- 
campments of 1895 and 1896 his command won the gold medal 
for proficiency in guard duty. In 1897 Capt. Person resigned to 
accept ;i position as major of the regiment, and in January, 1898, 
W. W. Kinne was elected captain and II. W. Yochem first lieu- 
tenant. -1. A. Erstad was at thai time second lieutenant, having 
been elected some years previous. 

It was just at this time thai the call for volunteers for the 
Spanish-American war was issued ami Company D was among 
the first io offer their services. One evening when the com- 
pany was lined up at the armory, Capt. Kinne asked all the 
members who would volunteer to step two paces to the front. 
Every man in Hie company stepped forward, bu1 as they were 
some short of the 105, to fill out a lull company. Col. Johnson 
furnished the balance of the quota from Mankato. On Thursday, 
April 28. 1908, the company left Zumbrota amid a scene which 
will he lonu- remembered by those who witnessed it. Many eyes 
were dimmed with tears and hearts throbbed with emotion as 
the buys left home. At that time Hie no n- commissioned officers 
were: Sergeants, John Bouck, George W. Eastman, C. O. Bon- 
ham. E. F. Davis, II. -I. Teich, -I. C. .Miller and II. Eastman; 
corporals, Sid Anderson. \Y. P. Armstrong, M. II. Powers, Harry 
G. Gudd, Ludwig Johnson. Charles C, Dickenson. Louis Lohman, 
and others. The company was stationed al the slate fair grounds 
and had a total number of 115 men. About thirty of these had 
to be rejected, as an order was received for only 84 men to a 
company. On May 8 the company was mustered in and was 
known as Company I). 14th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. A 
few days later the regimenl left Camp Ramsey in three sections 
for Chickamauga Park, Ga. All along the route citizens turned 
out to welcome and cheer the troops. Arriving at a small station 
called Lytic, the regiment marched into the park a few miles, 
where a cam]) was assigned them, in company with 60,000 other 
troops from all parts of the United States. This camp was known 
as the George H. Thomas, and the company was brigaded with 
the First Pennsylvania and Second Ohio Regiments, and known 
as the third brigade, second division, first army corps, under 
command of Gen. Rossar, a veteran who fought with the South 
during the civil war. The extreme heat and poor water began to 
tell on the men from the North and as a result there was a great 
deal of sickness, but everyone was anxious to get to the front, 
and patiently endured the constant drilling, and it was but a 

HISTORY OF GOODHUE ( 01 \ n 251 

short time before the Third had the reputation of being the best 
drilled regiment in the park. 

hi June an order w;is issued to recruit the companies up to 
the full strength of 105 men, and Lieut. Erstad was detailed to 
go back home and perform that duty. Many of the men who 
were a1 tirst rejected were then given a chance and returned 
with him to join the command. After his return Lieut. Erstad 
w;is promoted to tirst lieutenanl and assigned to Company I. 
First Sergt. John Houck was promoted to second lieutenant and 
assigned to Company K. and Lieut. Demming of Company E was 
assigned tu < 'ompany D. 

On August 28, 1908, the regiment was transferred from Camp 
Thomas to Camp Poland, at Knoxville, Tenn., where they re- 
mained until September 21. and then started on the return trip 
to St. Paul, arriving there Sept. 23, and went into camp at Camp 
Van Duzee, between the twin cities. A furlough of thirty days 
was granted to all the men. who returned to their homes for a 
short period. At this time there was an Indian uprising in the 
northern pan of the state and a detachment from each com- 
pany was seut to quell the Reds, including several of the D boys, 
who returned without incident. 

On reassembling at St. Paul the regiment was mustered out of 
service November 18, 1908. Sergt. (leorge Miles Houck was the 
only member of the company who did not answer to roll call on 
the return home. He was taken ill at Knoxville shortly before 
leaving and when he arrived at Chicago was too sick to continue 
the journey and was taken to a hospital, where he died October 1. 
The remains were brought to Zumbrota for burial. 

Twice during their stay in the park the regiment was ordered 
to the front and both times they struck tents, packed up all their 
belongings and had destroyed the few luxuries they had accumu- 
lated for comfort's sake, such as straw for bedding, boxes for 
tables, etc., and both times were ordered to unpack and pitch 
tents before they had left the company street. The second time 
the regiment was in line and the column had started to move 
toward the station when the order was countermanded, which 
nearly resulted in a riot on the part of the men and only the per- 
sonal persuasion on the part of the officers prevented an open 
rebellion. "We do not construe this as a disgraceful act on the 
part of the men, but it well illustrates their willingness to get to 
the front and do actual service. 

After the muster out of the Fourteenth. Company D resumed 
its place in the state militia with Capt. Kinne at the head and 
H. "W. Yochem and E. F. Davis as lieutenants. In May. 1900, 
Kinne resigned and H. W. Yochem was elected captain; Davis 


was advanced to first lieutenant and Sergt. C. 0. Bonham to 
second lieutenant. In the spring of 1901 Yoehem resigned by 
reason of removal from company station and Kinne was again 
placed at the head. He removed and Lieut. E. E. Davis was 
elected captain. Bonham being advanced and Sergt. J. R. Johnson 
elected second lieutenant. Davis resigned in 1903 and II. W. 
Yoehem was again placed in command. Yoehem and Bonham 
resigned in the fall of 1905 and F. \Y. Wilcox was elected cap- 
tain; Johnson pushed up to first lieutenanl and 31. H. Powers 
was elected second lieutenant. Wilcox held office for less than 
a year and then quit. First Lieut. Johnson look the company to 
camp that year, after which he resigned and II. T. Banks was 
elected captain and E. F. Davis went into the company again as- 
first lieutenant. In the spring of ]!><)!) I'.anks and Davis resigned 
and Second Lieut. M. II. Powers was elected captain, and Sergts. 
John Logan and Chris. X. Nesseth promoted to firsl and second 
lieutenants. Powers removed from company station September 
1, 1909, and al the present time the command is in charge of 
Lieut. -John Logan. 

At this writing there are ii7 members in the company, they 
are well equipped and well drilled and among the number are 

man.y good rifle shots who have wot dais of distinction on the 

state rifle ranee, as well as making good records on their own 
range. II. J. Teich is the first sergeant of the company, having 
served nearly fifteen years with the company and is the oldest 
first sergeant in the state. 

The company has participated in every encampment held 
by the national guard and in 1901 was with the regiment on an 
80-mile march from Milaca to Brainerd. In 1906 they marched 
across the country from Zumbrota to Lake City. Both of these 
trips proved instinctive as well as enjoyable. There are many 
other interesting features connected with the history of Company 
D which cannot be enumerated here, as this article was intended 
to cite only the more important events which have transpired 
during the quarter of a century of its existence. 


In 1858 the first village school was formed, taught by Lizzie 
Shedd, daughter of Eev. Charles Shedd, pastor of the Congrega- 
tional Church. In the beginning and for several successive years, 
the sessions of the school were held in the second story room of 
the store, built just before by T. P. Kellett. on the corner now 
occupied by the Security State Bank. The building was justly 
considered at that and for those times as ambitions, elegant ami 


.Mrs. .Mutisoii came nexl as teacher, followed by Mrs. C. C. 
Webster, wife of one of the earliesl settlers, and she was followed 
by Ella Wilder, daughter of Ezra Wilder, another pioneer. Later 
she married Rev. Mr. Sedgwick, then pastor of the Baptist 
( lunch, who afterward became a physician. .Mrs. Ellery Person, 
wife of Samuel Person, a brother of Messrs. Ralzy and George 
Person, who were among the early settlers^ was the next teacher. 
Then in succession came Sarah Stowed. .Mrs. Preston, Florence 
Brown, cousin to the hero of Harper's Perry and martyr of free- 
dom for the slave, whose soul is still marching on. Then, still 
in the Kellett hall came the male teachers, Mr. Griffin and Mr 

Aldrich, the latter of wh took up his residence in Zumbrota 

E. \V. Conat taughl in the summer of 1864 at $22 per month 
J. P>. Griffin in the winter of the same year at .$27.50 per month: 
Florence Brown, winter of '65, at $22 per month. Before this 
the general rate of salary for the female teachers was $5 per 
week. In the school year of 1862-68 and for many years there- 
alter the board of trustees were: .). A. Thacher, director; I. C. 
Stearns, clerk, and H. Blanchard. treasurer. 

There were six months of school in two terms of twelve weeks 
each in 1862-63. and seven months in 1863-64. The appointment 
of school money from the county in 18H2-(i3 was but $117.70. In 
the spring of 1863 a movement was started by a petition signed 
by T. F. Kellett. George Samuel Person and E. L. Kings- 
bury for the building of a school house. Favorable action was 
taken and a levy agreed to of 5 mills on all taxable property, to 
begin the necessary funds. In 1864-65, 2 mills more were voted 
for schools and 7 mills for school house fund. In 1865-66, 8 mills 
was voted toward the fund. In March, 1867, it was voted to 
have three terms of school of twelve weeks each. In March, 
1866, definite steps were taken to build a two-story school house, 
24 feet high, width 30 feet, length 50 feet. Two lots were first 
bought and later two more adjoining, in block 40, the cost of the 
building not to exceed $3,000. The district received from the 
county treasurer in 1865, $537. The money to build the school 
house was loaned to the district by private individuals, chief 
among them being I. C. Stearns, H. H. Palmer, J. A. Thacher, 
Ezra Wilder and the Ladies' Sewing Society, with a few gentle- 
men loaning minor sums. E. L. Kingsbury was the contractor 
and builder, and received for the job $2,000. 

In March, 1868, the district voted to have three terms of 
school per year of thirteen weeks each. This year the county 
treasurer paid to the district $717. In March. 1870, on motion of 
Ezra Wilder, it was voted to build- another school house and the 
board was authorized to select a site and proceed with the work. 


They accordingly decided upon a site adjoining the public square 
and commenced excavation for the cellar when, serious opposi- 
tion to that site developing, a special meeting of the district was 
called in .July of that year to decide the matter. By a majority 
of four votes the site north of the Baptist church was decided 
upon, the land being donated for that purpose. !l has been claimed 
that the majority was not one of all the voters in the district, 
but only of those present ami voting, a majority of all preferring 
the much more elevated site, though some <>f them failed to be 
on hand at the pinch. In consequence the present tine building 
is located where it is instead of on a spot where its tine and im- 
posing proportions and asped would be much more effective than 
is now possible. In March, 1871, it Mas voted that there should 
he three schools and three terms of thirteen weeks each, and that 
there should be two male teachers and one female teacher. In 

1871 the amount received fr the county treasurer was $1,850 

and in 1872, +2.200. During this school year .Mr. Savage taught 
the high school for ten weeks. Previously and after the tirst 
school house was Iniill. the li'.idp'i's were (). II. Parker. Ilattie 
Ward, Emma Barrett, now Mrs. .lames Farwell; Lettie Barrett, 
now .Mrs. Harry Sergeanl of California; A.bby Moody, then of 
York. Maine, and Alice Kendall. At a district meeting held in 
October. 1872, on motion of J. A. Thacher, it was voted, with but 
two of three dissenting, to maintain the schools at the highest 
point of efficiency then attainable and that no backward steps be 

Recurring briefly to the early beginnings of the work of the 
Schools, of which, unfortunately, lor the first years no trace of 
records can be found, it may be said thai the persons to whom 
were committed the responsibilities of inaugurating and carrying 
forward the educational interests of the incipient community 
were men not only deeply interested in the work, but especially 
qualified to conduct il in such a way as not only to enlist hearty 
cooperation but also to fix and intensify the public sentiment in 
favor of unremitting devotion to the cause of sound, practical 
and thorough mental and moral training of the young people. 
Each member of the school board had learned the art of teaching 
by experience in New England. They were J. A. Thacher. 1. 0. 
Stearns and C. C. Webster. During all the years that have fol- 
lowed, the hoard has never been without members who were 
leading citizens, interested in their duties and competent to per- 
form them so as to carry forward the cause which, to the honer of 
our village can be said, has been always near her heart. The 
first school house being on an elevated site and in itself a hand- 
some building, having a fine front and crowned with a tasteful 


cupola, was, with the church, the conspicuous objects, arresting 
the eye as one approaching the town reached the brow of the 
prairie, where it descends toward the valley. Its two school 
rooms, above and below, were approached from the south. In 
L872, alter only six years of use, 11 caught fire one evening, on 
the roof, from some unexplained cause and was burned to the 
ground. The desks in the Lower room were saved and were 
used in one n\' the rooms of the upper floor of the house built in 
L870. At the time of the tin- a festival was being held in the 
second story open room of the building so recently destroyed by 
the same element, and the shock of sudden discovery of it brought 
the gathering to an abrupt close. 

The new school building of two stories, high posted, dimen- 
sions 40 by 60 feet, buill in 1870, costing $4,000 not including 
furnishings, had the two Lower rooms at once finished and put to 
use. Teachers employed during the earlier years were Mr. 
Parker, Emma Barrett, Persis Scofield and Jessie Ball, who later 
becoming the wife of < harles A. Ward, and L. D. Henry, the 
principal for one year. All these teachers gave satisfaction. 
Later Mv. Henry acted as clerk in the store of H. II. Palmer and 
subsequently married one of his pupils. Jennie Weatherhead. For 
several years four teachers were employed, including the head 
master. The resources of the district steadily increased, as well 
as the number of the pupils. The salaries of the teachers also 
were gradually increased. With Mr. Henry the school rose to 
the grade of a high school, though not, of course, of the first class, 
at that time. Benjamin Darby was principal in 1872, a success- 
ful instructor and a man of powerful physique. It is said that 
when the fire which consumed the earlier school house was dis- 
covered, Prof. Darby and E. L. Melius, then in trade here and 
afterwards a physician of good standing, were among the first 
to enter the burning building, seeking to save whatever of value 
could be snatched from the flames. The egress by the stairway 
being cut off. they descended by a ladder. Mr. Darby with the 
big heating stove in his arms, while Mr. Melius bore off something 
less weighty. M. B. Green, an esteemed teacher, was principal in 
1873-74, one year. Then Miss Wood for a short time was princi- 
pal. In the fall of 1876 A. B. Guptill of Red Wing, a former resi- 
dent of Lubec, Maine, became principal and remained till the 
spring following. In 1876 district No. 68 became independent, 
the school board assuming the duties and responsibilities that 
ordinarily rest upon a majority of the legal voters of school dis- 
tricts. The number of pupils in the primary department, taught 
by Miss Scofield, was 62; in the intermediate, taught by Miss 


Hall, 48; iu the high school, taught by Mr. Guptill., 36; the num- 
ber of Mr. Parker's room is not given. 

Mr. Fletcher succeeded Mr. .Guptill for a short time iu the 
spring of 1877, a worthy num. fund of music and excelling as a 
flutist. In the fall of 1877 .Mr. Mooney, also a native of Lubec, 
recommended by Dr. Tupper, who had known him there, took 
charge of the school for our term. Later he became a practicing 
lawyer in his native town.' In the fall of 1878 W. A. Snook 
succeeded to the principalship. He was a rigid disciplinarian. 
possessing both moral and physical courage for all emergencies. 
The modern history of Ziiinhrota schools is found elsewhere in 
this history. 


(By Mrs. Gilbert P. Murphy. 

The Zumbrota Public Library. There are in Goodhue county 
two free public libraries, one at Red Wing, the other at Zum- 
brota. While the Red Wing library takes precedence as regards 
size, it must yield the palm as regards age to the Zumbrota 
library, which can trace its beginning to a period forty years 
ago. For some years during the early history of Zumbrota one of 
the most popular organizations in towi. was the Zumbrota 
Literary Society, at whose weekly meetings old and young, both 
men and women, gathered, finding therein much mental stimulus 
as well as recreation. Several prominent members of this or- 
ganization, notable anion- them being .Joseph A. Thaeher, be- 
came, during the winter of L868 and 1869, much interested in 
the matter of a town Library. The few books which the early 
settlers had brought from their eastern homes had been circu- 
lated through the neighborhood until everybody had read them. 
Periodicals were few and expensive. The literary society was 
cramped in preparing ils programs by dearth of material, and 
individuals were hungry for good literature. After considerable 
agitation of the question, a new organization superseded the 
literary society, called the Zumbrota Literary Society and Li- 
brary Association. By paying the sum of fifteen dollars, any 
individual could become a life member of the association, he and 
his family being thereby entitled to the use of the library for 
life. About twenty were found who became life members at 
this time, the following being a necessarily imperfect list of the 
names: J. A. Thaeher. -J. ('. Stearns. F. L. Halbert, H. H. Palmer, 
Henry Blanchard, John Mitchell, Charles A. "Ward. Sr.. Charles 
Ward, Jr., 0. H. Parker. J. B. Locke, Henry Shedd, Mathias P. 
Ringdahl, "William Wells, B. C. Grover, James Cram. D. B. 
Scofield, T. D. Rowell and T. P. Kellett. The first actual con- 


tribution toward the library fund was a cord of wood, con- 
tributed by Mathias P. Ringdahl. To the money obtained from 
life membership fees and voluntary contributions was added the 
proceeds of an oyster supper, given to celebrate the organization 
of the new association, and with these funds about 27.") books 
were purchased and placed in a room over the store building 
owned by Mr. Thacher and located where the Great Western 
station now stands, ( >. II. Parker being appointed librarian. .Many 
of us who now lake pride and pleasure in our beautiful library 
building can distinctly remember, as children, walking the length 
of the store, climbing the narrow, dusty stairway at the back. 
traversing a dark lane formed by piles of packing boxes, to the 
front of the store again, where we selected a library book from 
one of the two cases stationed by the window, then through the 
lane and down again to have the book charged to our name at 
the desk in the rear of the store. Sometimes we made the charge 
ourselves, for. since the librarian's labors were gratuitous, they 
must be as lighl as possible. 

In February. 1 S 7 7 . Zumbrota became an incorporated village 
and not long after the library became the Free Public Library 
of Zumbrota, to be supported by a one-mill tax. Henceforth we 
find it in charge of a board appointed by the village council, 
and almost immediately the books were removed to Good 
Templars' hall, in the building owned by Charles Anderson. 
Mrs. .lames ('ram was elected librarian, with Ida Weatherhead, 
Mrs. Cooper and Amanda Dam as assistants, and these ladies 
kept the reading- room open two afternoons and one evening of 
each week, giving their own time to this for the good of the 
cause. After a year or two came another change. The library 
was moved into the building occupied by the Misses Walker's 
millinery establishment and Miss AValker became and was for 
many years librarian. Dr. O. H. Hall, for twenty years chairman 
of the committee for selecting new books, in writing of this 
period said that much of the prosperity of the library during 
these years was due to Miss Walker's faithful and painstaking 
work in its behalf, for which the small sum paid her for rent and 
care was no adequate compensation. 

When a change became necessary by reason of Miss Walker's 
retiring from the millinery business, the library was moved into 
the Security State Bank building, and for some time a great deal 
of the work of conducting and caring for it was done by George 
A. Thacher, who selected new books, catalogued those on hand, 
and was first to agitate the question of a Carnegie library, al- 
though it was some years before the building became a fact. 

James Farwell. while mayor of Zumbrota. which position he 


held for three years, was deeply interested in the prosperity of 
the library, and it was largely through his efforts that the plans 
for a library building were successful, Andrew Carnegie fur- 
nishing the $6,500 which our building cost on the usual condition 
that a sum equal to 10 per cent of that amount be annually de- 
voted by the village to the library. At the time of its completion 
in May, 1908, the structure was the smallest library building 
in the state. It provides a well arranged one-room library on 
the ground floor, with wall shelves, reading tables and librarian's 
desk. It is lighted by electricity and doubtless in the near future 
will be furnished with an adequate heating plant. There is a 
rest room furnished by Zumbrota business men in the basement. 
The rest room is open all day. The library is open every evening 
except Sunday, and on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Hattie 
Marvin, who is a graduate of the state university and has also 
completed the library course at the University summer school, 
is librarian and. like many of her predecessors in that position, 
is profoundly interested in the advancements of the library, and 
gives much gratuitous time to the work. There is no institution 
which so thoroughly gives evidence of the real spirit of Zum- 
brota as does our library, established in the pioneer days of 
hardship, persistently supported and increased through the 
changing fortunes of forty years, its work done largely by volun- 
teers, with unwavering determination and unfailing enthusiasm, 
Zumbrota 's citizens have loved and labored for their library and 
now, in its new home, with two thousand books upon its shelves 
and thirteen periodicals upon its reading tables, and w T ith an 
able and enthusiastic librarian, there seems no reason why its 
future may not be of the brightest. 


Zumbrota comprises township 110. range 15, and originally 
included Minneola, which was set off in June, 1860. It is 
bounded on the north by Goodhue, east by "Wabasha county, 
south by Pine Island and west by Minneola. Through a larger 
part of the southern tier of sections runs one of the branches of 
the Zumbro, and from this river the name of the township is 
derived. The surface is largely rolling prairie, with higher, un- 
dulating land .in the northwestern portions. 

The first settler was "William Fiske, who came in 1854 and 
took a claim on Dry Run, in the southeastern part. Fiske was a 
man of strong personality. He was born in Maine and for some 
years was a sailor. Of hermit tendencies, he tried to get as far 
from civilization as possible. He died in 1878 and is buried in 
the cemetery at Mazeppa, Wabasha county. Aaron Doty and 


C. W. Smith were also early settlers, as was C. P. Bonney, who 
arrived .May 26, 1856, and built a cabin. It is related that for 
the first six weeks Mrs. Bonney saw the face of no white man 
but her husband. 

In the fall of 1S55 Rev. II. X. Gates, a missionary who had 
been laboring in Iowa, returned to Stafford, Connecticut, where 
he had formerly lived, and proposed organizing an emigration 
company to establish a colony in the AY est. The first meeting 
was held in Stafford, at which time the company was organized, 
under the name of Stafford Western Emigration Company, with 
Albert Barrett, of Stafford, as president and Charles Ward, of 
Lowell, Mass., as secretary. The following members constituted 
the board: T. P. Kellett, Josiah Thompson, Joseph Bailey, D. B. 
Goddard, Dr. Ira Perry, James Elwell, Milton Bonner, Samuel 
Chaffee, Ruben A. Smith and C. ('. Webster. At a meeting held 
in Palmer, Mass.. January, 1856, they adjourned to meet at 
Lowell in February, 1856. One hundred and sixty persons 
joined the association at the time of the adjourned meeting in 
Lowell and the capital stock paid in at that time was $30,000. 
At this meeting Rev. H. N. Gates, Albert Barrett and Mr. Sher- 
wood were appointed a committee to go to Iowa or Minnesota and 
purchase a township of land. The funds of the association were 
placed at the disposal of Rev. H. N. Gates, chairman of the com- 
mittee. Nothing was heard from the committee after their de- 
parture until the latter part of May. 1856, when a call for a 
meeting was issued by the secretary, Charles Ward, stating that 
the committee had returned and would report.. Gates and Sher- 
wood both made reports but disagreed, and the company dis- 
banded. A smaller company was formed soon after. There were 
certain transportation concessions that had been made to the 
old company and the company wished to secure these and at the 
same time not have the name of the old company, a thing which 
was accomplished by the insertion of the letter "r" in the oh! 
name, the new designation being the Strafford Western Emigra- 
tion Company. The members were Josiah Thompson, Ira Perry, 
Joseph Bailey, D. B. Goddard, T. P. Kellett and Samuel Chaffee. 

In the latter part of July oi* early part of August. 1856, some 
of the members of the company came to this pari of Minnesota 
and, after looking over the country in different local it it's. Samuel 
Chaffee, D. B. Goddard and Joseph Bailey came across the Zum- 
bro river valley with the intention of returning to \e\v England 
via Red Wing. As they ascended the hill north of where the 
village of Zumbrota now stands, Samuel Chaffee discovered the 
beauties of the valley, and probably to him belongs the en', lit for 
the subsequent settlement of the colony at that point. The fol- 


lowing day the party arrived in Red Wing, where Mr. Chaffee, 
who had heen taken ill on the journey, died, August 9, 1856. 
His remains still repose in the cemetery at Red Wing. 

There was quite a tide of immigration to Zumbrota, ehieliy 
among those who belonged to the company, in the fall of 1856 
and spring of 1857. Prink and Walker's stage route from Du- 
buque to St. Paul had previously been established through the 
township, but in March, 1857. the route was changed so as to 
lead through the village. T. P. Kellett was the first postmaster. 
The first death was that of John Cameron, December, 1856. 
AVilliam E. Winter was married in .May. 1857. his being the first 
marriage in the township. 

An active participant in the settlement of Zumbrota is 
authority for the following items regarding the early days of the 
township: "Zumbrota was settled by a small fragment of a large 
company called the Stafford Western Emigration Company. The 
original company was organized in the winter of 1855-56. This 
company contained over 150 members, most of them heads of 
families. Its members were mainly from Massachusetts and 
Connecticut, h had a paid up capital of $30,000. The plan con- 
templated the purchase of at least a township of land in one 
body, and laying ou1 a village in the eenter of the tract. The 
aim of the projectors was to plant a distinctively New England 
colony in the West. At a meeting of the company at Lowell, 
Mass., in February. 1856, the organization was perfected and 
plans matured to transplant the colony in the early spring as 
soon as a suitable site could be selected by the committee of 
three chosen for the purpose. This committee started for the 
West soon after the meeting at Lowell and took with them 
about $30,000, with which to purchase land and make the needed 
improvements ready for the colonists, when they should arrive. 
It would be tedious to relate the details which followed the de- 
parture of the committee for the West. Suffice it to say that not 
one of the committee was a practical man. They had no ac- 
quaintance with western affairs. And at least two out of the 
three seem to have had separate schemes of their own by which 
each hoped to subserve his own interest, or that of his friends 
and backers. The result was such as might have been expected. 
There soon developed dissensions and divisions in the committee. 
After wasting some three months of time and $3,000 of the com- 
pany's funds, the company was called together again in May, 
at Lowell, to hear the report of the chairman of the committee. 
The outcome of this meeting was a dissolution of the original 
company and a repayment of the funds to the members, less the 
amount expended or squandered by the committee. This re- 


paymenl of the funds was obtained through the unflinching in- 
tegrity of* Charles Ward. 

"Immediately upon the breaking up of the original com- 
pany, a few of its members proceeded to reorganize a new com- 
pany upon a much smaller scale. Several members of this com- 
pany immediately started for Minnesota in order to find a 
location for their little colony. Instead of a special committee, 
the members constituted themselves a committee of the whole, 
and upon their arrival in Minnesota started out in search of 
land. They had agreed upon Red Wing as a place of rendezvous, 
where they should meet and compare notes. A company of three 
of these explorers, who seem to have been a leading sub-com- 
mittee of the company, in the latter part of July, 1856, proceeded 
to the southwest of that point to a southerly portion of the then 
territory of Minnesota. This committee consisted of Joseph 
Bailey, Daniel B. Goddard and Samuel ( 'haffee. After several 
days of weary search for government land that could be had for 
their purpose, and finding nothing to their liking, they started 
on their return to Red Wing, weary, footsore and discouraged, 
fully resolved to return to New England. 

"Let us now for a brief period leave our travelers making 
their melancholy journey to the Mississippi river, and give a few 
moments' attention to what has transpired in the valley of the 
north branch of the Zumbro. There was a beautiful valley, three 
miles in width, and perhaps four miles in length, through the 
center of which the Zumbro coursed like a serpentine band of 
silver. On account of this tract not being represented on the 
maps of the time as surveyed lands it was supposed by many to 
be on the 'Half Breed' tract, so called, consequently up to the 
midsummer of 1856 scarcely a settler had ventured into this 
beautiful valley. No road traversed it.' The trail of the red men 
and the old paths left by the buffalo were the only evidence re- 
maining that any living creature had ever traversed the valley. 
The old territorial road from St. Paul to Dubuque crossed the 
Zumbro about one and one-half miles below the lower end of 
this valley. In the spring of 1856 a backwoodsman by the name 
of Smith, who was a born pioneer and could no more endure 
civilization than a Sioux Indian, who, nevertheless, was shrewd 
and scheming, in one of his hunting trips for (U-i'v. ducks and 
prairie chickens, strolled over the divide from the big woods on 
the middle branches of the Zumbro. where he had settled the 
year before, into the above described valley. He round to his 
surprise that no settler had invaded its precin'cts. His interesl 
was aroused. He traveled over its length and breadth, appre- 
ciated both its beauty and its advantages, though one may sup- 


pose that its beauties in his mind had more of a practical than 
an aesthetic value. Visiting the valley several times he discovered 
that near the center was an ideal site for a town: that the road 
from Red Wing to the southwest, if straightened, would cross 
the Zumbro in the center of his proposed townsite, and that there 
was a natural crossing at that point. He also discovered that by 
straightening the St. Paul and Dubuque road it would also cross 
the center of this valley. Keeping all this to himself, lie found 
a man by the name of Aaron Doty, who would preempt a quarter- 
section in tin' valley ami share the land with him after the title 
was obtained from tie- government. Meantime he had traced out 
the rout'' for the change of the Red Wing and Mantorville road, 
and stationed himself somewhere near the center of the presenl 
town of Roscoe. in order to intercepl some of the many teams 
which were passing from towns and points south toward Red 
Wine-, lie was able, now and then, to persuade one to try the 
new route over the trackless prairie. In this way. after a while, 
there was a wagon track that could be followed in the direction 
he desired, straightening the former road. Ii was late in July 
or early in August of 1856, Smith and Doty had the walls of their 
shanty luiilt to the heighl of some ten feet. It had ;is yet no roof. 
A few boards leaned againsl the inside wall furnished them a 
rude shelter during the rain and at night. Occasionally a way- 
farer would stop and share the hospitality t>\' Smith, whose wife 
had come over from the woods to keep house for her husband. 
Doty, who was unmarried, boarded with Smith. The sun A\as 
approaching the horizon one afternoon when three weary travel- 
ers called at Smith "s shanty and asked for a drink of water and 
some food. They were informed by Smith, who was delighted 
that his new road was beginning to be traveled, that he could 
accommodate them. Smith's wife soon spread before them on 
a rough board table such viands as Inn- larder afforded, consist- 
ing of wheal bread, molasses and cold boiled venison, some coffee, 
black as ink, without milk or sugar, and a refreshing drink of 
cold water from a spring near by. These three travelers were 
the sub-committee whom we left journeying toward Red Wing. 
They anxiously inquired the distance to Red AVing. and also the 
distance to the nearest stopping place 071 the road. Smith having 
no accommodation for them over night. They concluded to go 
on as far as Moer's. who had a log house where Luther Chap- 
man's house was later erected. Smith, with his shreAvd in- 
quisitiveness. had drawn out of these men the object of their 
journey and the fact of their failure to find what they were 
seeking for. Learning that they were the representatives of a 
colony and had been upon an unsuccessful search for a suitable, 

HISTORY 01 G00DH1 !•: C01 \TY 263 

Location, Smith, with his rude- enthusiasm, told them thai he had 
jusl the spot for, them; that the place where they now were was 
the promised land. He expatiated upon the fad that the center 
of the valley was just the place for a town; thai there was an 
abundance of vacanl land all around; pointed out the further 
fact that thai particular point was the natural center of travel 
from St. Paul to Dubuque, Wabasha to Faribault, and Red Wing 
to Mantorville, and other points to the southwest which made 
Red Wine- their shipping point. But our travelers were too 
weary and discouraged to listen to Smith's suggestions and propo- 
sitions. Samuel Chaffee, one of the three, an elderly man, was 
not only weary hut sick. It was with difficulty that he could 
travel at all. lie reached Red Wine the next day and died a few- 
days after. As the trio ascended the northern slope of the val- 
ley Mr. Chaffee, in his weak condition, sat down to rest. Turn- 
ing his eyes toward the river, as the sun was casting its last rays 
upon the landscape, the view thai met his uaze was one of un- 
equalled beauty. So impressed was he that he called out to his 
associates to stop and look at the landscape as he was doing. 
At firsl they chided him for delaying their progress, but at his 
solicitation they returned to his side. He exclaimed to them, 
'How beautiful' Why is not that the spot we have been looking 
for?' His companions became interested also. As the shadows 
of evening began to fall the three men arose with a profound 
conviction that the beautiful valley before them was their 
Canaan. It continued to be the theme of their conversation 
while picking their way along the faint wagon tracks on the 
prairie, and at their lodging place. During the next day. with 
more hope than they had felt before, they made their way to Red 
Wing — Goddard and Bailey w^eak and footsore, Chaffee sick unto 
death. At Red Wing they found several of their associates 
awaiting them. They reported what they had found in the val- 
ley of the Zumbro. It was resolved by all of them that the place 
should be visited the next day. The other members of the party 
were Josiah Thompson. T. P. Kellett, Albert Barrett and Dr. Ira 
Perry. On the following morning, leaving Goddard to take care 
of his sick companion, Chaffee, the others chartered a conveyance 
and repaired to the valley of promise. It Avas afternoon when 
they came in sight of it. The whole party were in ecstasies over 
the view that met their eyes, and all with one accord exclaimed 
that it w T as the place for which they had been seeking for so 

"They were soon in conference with Smith and Doty. The 
100 acres preempted by Doty was negotiated for at a low price, 
each retaining an interest with the company, which was denomi- 


nated the Strafford Western Emigration Company. Smith, who 
knew every acre of land in the valley, pointed out to them the 
claims, very few of which had as yet been taken. Three or four 
pioneers had settled in the valley besides Smith and Doty, but 
they were soon bought out. Each of those present selected a 
claim for himself and one or two of his friends, who in some 
cases were real and in others imaginary. The land office was at 
Winona, where all those who had selected claims repaired and 
made the necessary tiling. On their return the party fell in with 
several persons who were seeking places in the West where they 
could settle, among them J. A. Thacher, a civil engineer and 
surveyor. He was induced to go along with the company. Mean- 
time they had round a surveyor by the name of Beckwith, whom 
they had engaged to survey their lownsile. I'pon the return of 
the party from Winona, the townsite was surveyed and platted 
under t lie auspices of Messrs. Beckwith and Thacher. The shape 
of the original townsite was unique. It extended from the Znm- 
bro river, one mile in Length and about seventy rods in width. It 
is ;i matter of tradition that the reason for Laying out the town 
•in this shape was thai the town would eventually grow to large 
dimensions and would extend across the river. The townsite 
was hounded on its west Por its whole length by a school section 
which was not then available. The ICO acres east of the surveyed 
townsite was claimed by S. I\ Gambia, of Red Wing, who had he- 
come a member of the company and who had promised, so far as 
he dared to do before getting the title to his land, that he would 
turn it in to the company and have it laid out in hits. One of the 
members had purchased of a settler a quarter-section, north of 
the school section, which some of the party alleged was to be 
turned in to the company and become a part of the extensive 
townsite. while -loseph Bailey and Ira Perry, getting possession 
of the adjacent land across the river, were to turn in that, in due 
course of time, to the company for a further addition to the 
townsite. Alas, for human expectations! The north quarter of 
the original strip of land laid out for a townsite was all and 
more than was needed for town purposes for many years after 
the events here narrated. 

"Smith and Doty's shanty soon became a hotel. Travel had 
set in over the new road and many wayfarers were glad to avail 
themselves of the hospitality of the hostelry. Most of the mem- 
bers of the company lodged in the board shanty across the river, 
but took their meals at Smith's. Smith's hotel for several months 
was the center of interest and influence in the embryo city. A 
description of it may not be uninteresting: In dimensions it was 
12 by 18 feet on the ground, and 12 feet to the eaves. It was 


built of poplar Logs aboul 8 and 1<> inches in diameter, roughly 
hewn on the inside and outside. The interstices between the 
logs were filled with clay, according to the mo'sl primitive archi- 
tecture. The floor for the upper story was about eight feet from 
the lower floor, and both doors were rough boards. The upper 
story was u^<<| exclusively as a sleeping room. There was a 
small window in the east gable. In this attic there were as many 
beds as could be placed, some on rude bedsteads and some on 
the floor. These beds were made of prairie hay, and the bed 
clothes were mainly cheap blankets. There wen 1 also two beds 
in the lower room, standing end to end. During the autumn the 
cooking and much of the housework was done in a lean-to shed 
at one end of the cabin. Soon after the location of the company, 
new arrivals were frequent, until Smith's hotel was filled to 
overflowing. The table fare was abundant, if not always palat- 
able. But in those days appetites were good and the food was 
eagerly disposed of. The fare consisted mainly of bread made 
from wheat flour, mixed with the "fry of pork and baked in large 
iron pans; salt pork, occasionally boiled; fresh beef or venison, 
which sometimes was allowed to remain out in the sun until it 
became slippery before it was cooked. Vegetables were rare; 
butter likewise, and when furnished was. in strength, about five 
horse power. Molasses was a staple article. Coffee, or a decoc- 
tion which went by that name, was an ever-present beverage. 
Those who lodged at Dr. Perry's shanty over the river had com- 
fortable beds and pure air. at least. All was activity and stir. 
Everyone was eager to secure a claim and get his shanty up 
before winter. Soon all the travel from Red AYiug to the south- 
ward passed through the new settlement. The amount of team- 
ing increased daily, and in a few weeks the new road became a 
busy thoroughfare. Trouble about this time arose over the 
claims which settlers had selected for friends, as they pretended. 
One of the settlers saved a claim near his own ostensibly for a 
friend, and then sold it for $350. This caused all kinds of trouble. 
Smith was indignant, as, in his interest for the settlers, he had 
given up the chance of making many a fat fee for locating casual 
settlers. The matter was finally adjusted to the satisfaction of 
Smith and of the company; but soon outside parties learned of 
these claims, held for so-called but largely imaginary friends, 
and began to settle on them, as was their legal right to do, and 
soon no claims were held except such as had been filed on ac- 
cording to law. 

"The question of naming the new town was the cause of no 
little discussion. Zumbrota was finally decided upon. The orig- 
inal members of the company were not men of practical ex- 


perience and broad views in the matter of town building. The 
trustees, especially, were very narrow and short-sighted. They 
placed an extravagant price upon their town lots and were not 
liberal enough to devote any for much desired and needed im- 
provements. One of the most important needs of the new town 
was a hotel. Ezra Wilder came over from Oronoco to build one. 
The trustees gave him no attention and were unwilling to make- 
any concessions to him. Doty finally sold him two lots at a 
reasonable price in an undesirable location. He proceeded to 
erect a building for a hotel late in the fall, which he was not able 
to make comfortable till midwinter, although it was actually 
occupied at the beginning of the winter. The frame of the build- 
ing was put up and it was sided and the roof shingled by De- 
cember 1. The weather was extremely cold and a considerable 
depth of snow was on the ground. Ento this he moved his wife 
and several children. Smith's cabin was full to overflowing. 
Another family besides Smith's occupied the lower floor, while 
the attic was filled with Lodgers. Wilder laid a loose floor in the 
second story of his building over the cook stove, and hung up 
sheets tn keep the snow out. Qpou this Moor a bed, filled with 
prairie hay, was laid and two men lodged there for some weeks. 
with the mercury outside a1 o<» below zero, and bu1 a trifle above 
that indoors where they slept. W'ildcr's family consisted of his 
wife and two daughters. Now these women endured the rigors 
of that terrible winter in the half finished building has ever been 
a mystery. So cold was it that, within four feet of the cook stove 
where these women cooked, water would \'ri'<'/J L in the men's 
beards while washing. A few families came on in the fall, bu1 
they suffered many hardships and deprivations, which can 
scarcely be realized a1 this day. There were many cases of sick- 
ness and much discouragement. Dr. Perry's wife was sick all 
winter and nearly insane. Others were similarly affected. One 
poor fellow was taken down with typhoid fever at Smith's; the 
house was full of boarders; he soon died from want of care 1 — it 
could not be given him. All travel soon ceased. Occasionally 
someone would go to Red Wing for the mail and needed supplies. 
T. P. Kellet had opened a store with a small stock of goods. No 
postoffiee was established until the following spring. Locomo- 
tion on the prairies was made on snow shoes. Those remote 
from timber found it difficult to keep warm during the winter. 
Snow fell about November 20 and remained on the ground until 
May of the following spring. Notwithstanding the setting in of 
winter, all parties were eagerly planning to advance the interests 
of the new town. It was determined to change the route of the 

■& v 


St. Paul and Dubuque stage through Zumbrota, and to open a 
road from Wabasha, on the Mississippi river, to Faribault. 

"The few members of the company remaining all the winter 
in Zumbrota were busy planning for the opening of spring, when 
large accessions of settlers were expected, and the parties who 
had gone east were expected to return with their families. The 
first important end to gain was to open the St. Paul and Dubuque 
stage road through Zumbrota. The stage company had promised 
to make the change if a passable road could be made. To open 
this road it became necessary to break a new track from Lee's, 
four miles southeast of Zumbrota, to Ilader, eight miles to the 
northwest. All the inhabitants in the settlement and along the 
proposed new route turned out on an appointed day, with shovels 
and axes, to cut down the brush and break through the snow 
crust, and a few yoke of oxen to tread the snow crust into some 
semblance of a road. After several days of hard work the road 
was declared passable and, to the unspeakable delight of all, the 
stage for the first time made the trip through the incipient town. 
This was a great event. The next move was to secure a post 
office. This was eventually done and T. P. Kellett appointed post- 
master. The next important enterprise inaugurated was a bridge 
over the Zumbro at the foot of Main street. This bridge con- 
sisted of stringers of oak laid from bank to bank, upon which 
were laid for a floor poplar poles, hewed fiat on the upper and 
lower sides. This primitive bridge was the only one for several 
years. After the middle of March old settlers began to return 
and new ones started to come in. The ice did not break up on 
Lake Pepin until May 1. so that many of the families of the 
settlers were obliged to remain at the foot of the lake for days 
and weeks. There was a rush of people to Zumbrota in the 
spring. Many found claims on the prairie, a few settled in town. 
A large number, finding no chance of employment and no build- 
ing material at hand, left for other parts. Those who remained 
exerted themselves to the utmost to boom the new town. A flour- 
ing mill was built, other enterprises inaugurated, high hopes were 
entertained and the prospects bore a roseate hue. The financial 
panic of 1857 blasted the hopes of the settlers, and it was many 
years before the town regained its prosperity and courage." 

The first town meeting in Zumbrota, including what is now 
the township of Minneola. was held July 5, 1858. in the public 
hall over T. P. Kellett \s store, in the village of Zumbrota. The 
officers elected at this meeting were: Supervisors, I. C. Stearns 
(chairman), T. D. Kowell and George Sanderson; clerk. Charles 
Jewett; assessor, James Cram; collector, C. S. Spendly; over- 
seer of the poor, Albert Barrett ; justices, Albert G. Hawkes and 


Charles Ward; constables, C. S. Spendly and Henry Shedd. The 
supervisors since the organization of the township have been: 
1858, I. C. Stearns; 1859-60-61, J. A. Timelier; 1862, T. P. Kellett ; 
1863. J. A. Thacher; 1864-65-66. II. Blanchard; 1867-68-69-70-71, 
J. A. Thacher; 1872-73-74-75-76, S. B. Barteau; 1877-78, S. C. 
Holland; 1879-80-81. W. B. Dickey; 1882-83. S. S. Dam; 1884, S. 
B. Barteau; 1885-86-87, Ed Woodbury; 1888. Freeman Pearson 
(died in office) ; 1889, AY. B. Dickey: 1890-91, Bond Olson; 1892- 
93-94, E. A. Bigelow; 1895-96, Bond Olson: 1897-98-99, T. J. Mar- 
tin; 1900. L. E. Cook (removed during office) ; 1901-02-03-04-05-06. 
Charles A. Nelson; 1907-08-09. M. G. Morgan. The clerks have 
been: 1858-59. Charles Jewett : 1859-60. I. C. Stearns (appointed 
July 1, 1859» : 1861, A. W. Williamson; 1862. I. C. Stearns; 1863 
to 1870, Charles Ward; 1871-72, AI. H. Thorson; 1873, O. H. Par- 
ker; 1874-75-76-77. Charles Ward: 1878 to 1883, D. B. Scofield; 
1884. John English ; 1885 to 1891, Charles Ward. Since that date 
Gharles A Ward has served continuously as clerk, with the ex- 
ception of a small pari of the year 18!)."). when H. Runnells served. 

Those who enlisted from here, who are still remembered by 
the old settlers, were: -lames L. Batty, William A. Bickford. 
Nathan Buckingham, William K. Barnes. Joseph Bonney. Ed- 
ward E. Davis, William Dowling, II. K. Eggleston, Sanford ('. 
Holland. P. ( '. Hill. Orrin C. Leonard, J. II. Miner, Leonard B. 
Morris, John A. Merrill, William McDonough, Lieut. Bond Ol- 
son, Hiraman B. Patterson. George Reeves, dames Reeves, Will- 
iam Reeves. Benjamin J. Smith. Thomas Edwards, Francis 
Wyman and Daniel I). Alichaels. Others who were credited to 
this village hut who are not now remembered are : Goswin 
Dumers. Christian Ewen, Oswald Ewen, Michael Honan, John 
Howes, George W. Knowlton, David C. Grow, Thomas Foster, 
James H. Giles. Cabel Plant, George K. Clark, Patrick McCarty. 
AVilliam J. Weston, Josiah Whitford, Amund Amundson, Chaun- 
cey Pugher, Peter J. Hilden. Edward Lauderdale and Charles 
Root. In explanation of these latter names, practically none of 
whom are connected with this village, it is said that Joseph 
Thacher. then state senator and deputy provost marshal at the 
recruiting station in St. Paul, persuaded a number of recruits to 
give Znmbrota as their residence, thus filling the township quota, 
even though the recruits had never resided in this locality. 

William F. Bevers is one of the well known men of the comity, 
having in succession been a prominent citizen of AVelch, Red 
Wing and Znmbrota. He was born in Jacksonville, 111., March 
31, 1845. son of Benjamin and Jane (Hall) Bevers, natives of old 
Yorkshire, England. After leaving their home land, their first 
location was in Illinois, where they farmed on the fertile prairie 


hinds of thai state from sometime in the early forties until the 
spring of 1855. They then eame up the river to Red Wing. 
bringing with them their son, William F. The father, after 
landing here, .May 10, 1855, secured employment in the stone 
quarries, in the meantime looking about for a suitable farm loca- 
tion. The valleys of Welch, which were not settled as soon as 
the other townships, attracted his attention, and in 1857 he took 
his family there and staked out a claim on section 10, where 
he broke 280 acres, built a home and carried on general farming 
on a large scale. Later he rented his farm, and purchasing 
ten acres of land near Red Wing, lived a life of comparative 
retirement until his death in 1877. The mother died in Novem- 
ber, 1855. William F., brought up on a. farm, received his educa- 
tion in the public schools and at Hamline University, at that 
time located in Red Wing. He then continued fanning with his 
parents until reaching his majority, at which time he purchased 
120 acres on section 10, Welch township. Of this tract Mr. 
Be vers broke every foot, and carried on general farming with 
much success until 1881, when he moved to Red Wing and asso- 
ciated himself with the II. S. Rich & Co. hardware concern, 
for whom he handled farm implements and machinery. After 
five years of residence in Red Wing, he came to Zumbrota and 
acted as general manager of the branch store which the Rich 
company established here. So greatly did his accommodating 
spirit and honest dealings commend themselves to the people of 
the village and township, that after nine years with the Zumbrota 
branch of the Rich company, his friends persuaded him to make a 
venture on his own account. This he did, succeeding the company 
of which he had for so many years been the general manager. 
The firm was continued until 1908 under the firm name of W. F. 
Bevers & Son. A branch under the same title has been established 
at Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, with the son, William A., as 
genera] manager. Mr. Bevers has now practically retired from 
active business life, still retaining his extensive interests in the 
Red AVing Manufacturing Company, the Red Wing Union Stone- 
ware Company, the First State Bank of Zumbrota and the Secur- 
ity Bank of Zumbrota. His political career, which has been both 
distinguished and honorable, includes two years as president of 
the village council of Zumbrota, three years as an alderman in 
Red Wing, and four years as president of the Zumbrota hoard 
of education. For two years he was second lieutenant I'M h Regi- 
ment, State Militia. AVilliam F. Bevers was married February 
28, 1872. at Lake City. Minn., to Sarah Linn, daughter of John 
and Catherine Linn, natives of Ohio and early settlers of Welch. 
They afterward removed to Marshall, Minn., and finally went 


east to Maryland, where they both died. To Mr. and Mrs. Bevers 
were born two children. William A., born December 4, 1874, 
married Lnella Grover. Mary E., born October 9, 1879, is the 
wife of Roy Sigmond, of Zumbrota. Mr. Bevers is a Republican 
in politics and a communicant of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. Mrs. Bevers died in the summer of 1909, and her death 
was a severe blow to her family and friends. 



First School Taught — First District Organized — Anecdotes of 
the Early Days — Statistics — Summer Schools — Library Asso- 
ciation — High Schools — Church Schools — City Superinten- 
dents — County Superintendents — Sunday School Work — 
Hamline University — Red Wing Seminary — Villa Marie — 
Lutheran Ladies' Seminary — Orphans' Home — State Train- 
ing School — Business Colleges — By Prof. Julius Boraas. 

The first settlers of Goodhue county had a strong faith in the 
value of an education. Those who came from the New England 
states brought with them the noble ideals of early New England 
traditions, according to which the first things a community 
thought of as a community was its school and its church. The 
immigrants who came directly from Europe came from countries 
in which education was valued highly and schools well developed. 
It was natural, therefore, that as soon as a settlement was made 
anywhere in the county some provision would be made for a 
school. Even before any public schools could be organized 
private schools were taught, the first one of which any record 
is known being held in one of the old Indian mission houses in 
Red Wing during the year of 1853 and taught by Mrs. H. L. 

The first school district organized was District No. 1 at Red 
"Wing, in 1854. Then followed in the order of townships the 
organization of districts in Wacouta, Burnside, Welch, Stanton, 
Cannon Falls, Vasa, Featherstone, Hay Creek, Florence, Central 
Point, Belvidere, Goodhue, Belle Creek, Leon, AA r arsaw, Holden, 
Wanamingo, Minneola, Zumbrota, Cherry Grove, Pine Island, 
Roscoe, and Kenyon. 

It was natural that the conditions of the schools during the 
first years of pioneer life should be rather primitive. Schools 
were sometimes kept in private buildings. One is mentioned as 
being kept in a "lean to," a sort of summer kitchen; another 
was kept in the attic of a small log cabin where the rafters were 
so low that the superintendent had to beware of bumping his 
head when visiting the school. One school was kept in a large 



barn in the basement of which were the stables for horses and 
cattle. Benches without backs were the only seats, and the door 
had to be kept open to afford light. Shooing chickens and clucks 
and pigs was part of the program. Quite commonly the schools 
were kept in log cabins which had been used while pre-empting 
some claim. One of these cabins is described as follows: "The 
house stood alone on the prairie, which was somewhat rolling, 
and entirely out of sight of any neighboring house. There was 
a large square opening, left for a window, on one side. About 
the middle of the roof there was a smaller opening, which had 
been used to accommodate a stove pipe. These were used to let 
in the light. There was also a door at one corner of the building, 
where light would come in when the weather was pleasant. The 
door itself had neither hinges nor fastenings. The young lady 
teacher had plenty of exercise in removing and replacing the 
door in windy weather. She said in answer to some inquiries of 
the superintended that she was obliged to place a large prop 
against the door oftentimes to keep out the wind, and in case of 
a hard shower, "we huddle together in the dryest corner! " 

\n 1864 there were nominally one hundred districts in the 
county, but only eighty-seven of these were organized. There 
were fifty-six school houses owned by districts; thirty-four frame 
and twenty-two log buildings. According to the superintendent's 
report only six were really good buildings. Home-made seats 
and desks were the order, and many schools were without black- 
boards, maps, or globes. There were a1 this time only two dis- 
tricts which employed more than one teacher. They were Red 
"Wing, employing five, and Cannon Falls, two. The total 
enrollment was 2.450. 

During the year of 1864-65 there were in the county 101 
teachers, of whom twenty-five were men and seventy-six women. 
Three held first grade certificates; fifty-seven, second grade; and 
forty-one. third grade. M. P. Ilubbel was the first man and Mrs. 
Julia B. Nelson, then Julia Bullard, the first woman to receive 
a first grade certificate. 

The earliest statistical report of the county superintendent 
kept on file is from the year 1883. At that time there were four 
special or independent districts and 143 rural schools, of which 
five were joint districts with their school houses in the adjoining 
counties. The total enrollment was 7.404. During the year seven 
districts had three months of school ; fifteen had four months ; 
twenty-four, five months ; thirty-two. six months ; forty-five, seven 
months; eleven, eight months; two, nine months; and one, ten 
months. Many of the schools were very large. Thus District 
No. 24 shows an enrollment of ninety-one; District 54. seventy- 


nine; District 56, seventy-nine; District 63, seventy-five; and 
District 121, 128. 

The greatesl Dumber of pupils enrolled in the schools of the 
county during' one year was in 1886, when the total number was 
8,127. Since thai time it has decreased until in 1908 it was 6.620. 
The greatest number enrolled in the rural schools seems to have 
been in 1884, when there was an enrollment of 5,559. The great- 
est number enrolled in the city schools was in 1903, when it was 
3,131. During the earlier period of the history of the county it 
was a common thing to find a large number of pupils in the 
common schools from eighteen to twenty-live years of age and 
over. As educational facilities multiplied and the schools 
improved things changed so that in 1908 there were only thirty- 
eight pupils in the rural schools that were over eighteen years 
of age. AVhile in the early days few, if any, completed the eighth 
grade at any age,, the average age at which a common school 
pupil now finishes this grade is fourteen or fifteen years, and 
the high school course is completed before the age of twenty. 
This fact, and the fact that the schools are at present between 
two generations, the first being almost gone and the second 
beginning to arrive, will explain the decrease in the school popu- 
lation. All parts of the county were settled about the same time 
by comparatively young families, and for years almost every 
family had children to send to school. Now there are five 
districts with less than ten pupils in each. 

During the eighties and nineties the schools of the county 
developed splendidly along lines of better equipment and organ- 
ization of work. It was at this time that free text books were 
introduced and school libraries bought in almost every school of 
the county. A system of examinations was also introduced, so 
that it became possible to have common school graduations. Dur- 
ing this time. too. the method of conducting teachers' examina- 
tions was made more uniform. All this was accomplished largely 
through the efforts of Superintendent A. E. Engstrom, who ren- 
dered the county most efficient service for a period of eighteen 
years, from 1881 to 1899. 

The condition of the schools at the present time may perhaps 
best be indicated by quoting the county superintendent's annual 
report for 1 908 : 

Graded Common 

Schools Schools 

Number of pupils entitled to apportionment 2,603 :;.."> 17 

Number of pupils not entitled to apportionment 219 t~>l 

Total enrollment 2,822 3,798 

A.verage number of days each pupil lias attended 147.5 87.9 

Pupils from 5 to 8 years of age '">' (; 

Pupils from 8 to 15 years of age 2,228 _ 2,973 

Pupils from 18 to 21 years of aye 


Number of male teachers 9 15 

Number of female teachers 84 139 

Average monthly salary of male teachers $ 120.55 $ 40.80 

Average monthly salary of female teachers $ 55.50 $ 40.13 

Teachers who are graduates of a high school 77 92 

Teachers who are graduates of a normal school 52 16 

Teachers who are graduates of a college 23 3 

Teachers who have taught three years or more in the 

same school 28 7 

Teachers who have taught two years or more in the 

same school 21 29 

Teachers who have taught one year or more in the 

same school 43 104 

Districts loaning text-books free 5 149 

New schoolhouses 1 

Total number of schoolhouses in the county 10 154 

Estimated value of schoolhouses and sites' $176,000.00 $149,875.00 

Estimated value of seats and desks $ 7,175.00 $ 11,037.00 

Estimated value of apparatus $ 4,843.00 $ 6,656.00 

Number of volumes bought for school libraries 60 997 

Number of libraries 10 143 

Total number of books in all libraries 6,710 14,723 

Number of trees planted 186 

Total indebtedness of all districts $ 27.500.00 $ 19,856.00 

Number of districts included 2 18 

Average length of school for next year, in months. ... 9 6.94 

Average number of voters at the annual meetings. ... 34 9 

Number of visits by the county superintendent 13 259 

Cash on hand at the beginning of the year $ 15,138.01 $ 19,411.76 

Apportionment 11,960.77 15,039.61 

Special tax 49,785.02 34,791.00 

Local one mill tax 4,093.00 8,319.46 

Special state aid 11,200.00 6,388.00 

All other sources 2,320.52 11,882.80 

Total $ 94,497.92 $ 95,832.63 

Teachers ' wages 49,228.58 42,866.2 1 

Fuel and school supplies 4,916.96 4,981.85 

Repairs and improvements 7,993.16 2,833.65 

New schoolhouses and sites 2,961.26 

Bonds and interest 2, 3,705.35 

Library books 84.32 399.79 

Text-books 1.1 3 1.77 923.14 

Apparatus 122.48 276.57 

Transportation of pupils 30.00 

All other purposes 7,964.57 4,017.49 

Cash on hand at the end of the year 20,183.28 32,837.32 

Total $ 94,497.92 $ 95,832.63 

Average rate of special tax in mills 12.1 4.2 

Average cost for each pupil 26.33 16.58 

Average cost for each day attended .18 .19 

There are now 165 organized districts in the county. Of these 
five are city schools with first-class high schools, one is a village 
school employing three teachers, one employing two teachers, 
and one a rural school with two teachers. The others are one- 
room schools. There are seven districts which are joint with 
other counties and have their school houses outside of Goodhue 
county. Five schools have an enrollment of less than ten pupils, 
and fifty have an enrollment of from ten to twenty. 

During the year of 1908-09 six districts had nine months of 


school; fifty schools, eight months; thirty-seven schools, seven 
months; forty schools, six months; and sixteen schools, five 
months. Compared with the report of twenty- five years ago it 
will be seen that short term schools are gradually becoming a 
thing of the past. 

We again quote from the annual report of 1908: 

"It may be of interest to know what a school would be like 
that should represent the average of all the rural schools of the 
county. Such a school would be found in a schoolhouse worth 
about $1,000, with seats worth about $75 and apparatus worth 
$45. There would be about one hundred volumes in the library. 
There would be twenty-five pupils, of whom three would fail to 
attend forty days. Five of the pupils would be from five to eight 
years of age and the others would be from eight to eighteen. The 
school would be in session seven months and the pupils would 
attend an average of eighty-eight days. The teacher would 
receive about $40 a month. The district would have a cash on 
hand of about $130, receive from apportionment $100, from spe- 
cial tax $220, from one mill tax $55 (showing that the district 
would have an assessed valuation of about $55,000). It would 
pay for teacher's wages $280, for fuel $33, repairs $18, library 
books $2.50, text-books $6, apparatus $2, other purposes $25. 

"Years ago it used to be a common thing for schools to employ 
two or three different teachers during the same year, one for 
each term. This has changed so that now practically every dis- 
triet employs the same teacher throughout the year. Out of a 
total of 151 teachers who taught in the rural schools during the 
year, 140 stayed the whole time in the same school. 

"During the past year the state high school examination was 
taken in twenty-eight schools and about two hundred credits 
were obtained. The final county examination was taken in 103 
schools and 1,764 papers were sent to the county superintendent. 
Fifty-eight pupils received common school diplomas as a testi- 
monial that they have completed the common school branches 
and are entitled to enter the high school." 

During the school year of 1908-09 the final county examina- 
tion has been taken by about one hundred and twenty schools 
and the number of graduates will be about eighty. 

Most of the schools are well equipped with those things which 
are required for efficient work. During the last few years special 
attention has been given to heating and ventilation, and a large 
number of districts have installed heating and ventilating plants 
in accordance with the suggestions of the state superintendent 
of public instruction. 

During the present year forty-six schools will meet the 


requirements of the state department for obtaining special state 
aid, and the list of such schools is growing rapidly. 

The educational qualifications of the teachers in the county 
are unusually good, there being but two or three counties in the 
state in which there is a larger percentage of the total number 
of teachers who have a high school or normal school education, 
and they are counties with exceptional facilities in the matter 
of high schools. 

The teachers' training schools, which are conducted in the 
county every other summer, do much to increase the efficiency of 
trie teachers. These schools are paid for by the state and con- 
ducted under the direction of the county superintendent and the 
conductor appointed by the state department of public instruc- 
tion. Instruction is given in all branches required for a teacher's 
certificate. In addition, there are classes in pedagogics, school 
management, and so forth. These schools arc free and a large 
number of teachers make use of them. 

A Teachers' Library Association was organized in 1902. It 
now owns a circulating library of about three hundred books on 
school management and methods of teaching, and has proven of 
great benefit to the teachers generally. 

There are five state high schools in the country, all in a very 
prosperous condition. \Un\ Wing has five buildings, employs 
forty-six teachers and has an enrollment of 1,41(1 pupils. Its 
high school yives in addition to the customary courses a com- 
mercial course ami a normal course. A manual training depart- 
ment is maintained and during the presenl year the city voted 
$50,000 for a new building to be used largely for this purpose 
and for domestic economy. Through a special grant from the 
state a course in elementary agriculture has been added, with 
experimental work on a plot of land secured for the purpose. 

Cannon Falls has one building and employs twelve teachers. 
The total number of pupils is 347. It has lately introduced a 
department in manual training. During the past year regular 
courses of lectures on farming and domestic economy were given 
every week during the winter by instructors from the state agri- 
cultural school. These lectures were largely attended by the 
neighboring farmers, as well as by the citizens of the town. 

Zumbrota has one building, probably the most modern in 
construction of any in the county, employs thirteen teachers and 
has 367 pupils enrolled. 

Pine Island has two buildings and employs nine teachers. 
The enrollment is 236. 

Kenyon has one building and employs thirteen teachers, with 
an enrollment of 420. Here. too. a manual training course has 
been introduced. 


These schools are all well equipped and arc doing splendid 
work. They have kepi abreast with the .forward movements in 
the educational world and their courses are gradually being 
enlarged and adapted so as to make them truly the schools of 
the people and for the people. A large number of the pupils 
enrolled in these high schools are country pupils who have 
completed the work of the rural schools. 

The men who have served as county superintendents of 
schools are J. W. Hancock. II. B. Wilson, .1. K. Pingrey, A. E. 
Engstrom and Julius Boraas. 

Those who have been superintendents in the city schools 
during the last twenty-five years are: 

Red Wing — 0. W. Whitman (who served nineteen years, 
from 1870 to 1889), A. W. Rankin. G. 0. Brohaugh, F. V. Hub- 
bard. W. F. Kunze, -I. I,. Silvernale. 

Cannon Falls— ('. W. Blake. E. K. Cheadle, 0. C. Gross. A. M. 
Locker, A. ('. ( arlson. II. I. Harter and A. W. Newman. 

Zumbrota— C. I). Welch, F. A. AVeld. (i. E. St. John, J. W. 
Steffens. F. J. Bomberger, ('. A. Patchin. L. J. Montgomery, 
J. T. Fuller. 

Pine Island— Otis Gross, E. S. Stevens, A. M. Dresbach, "Wil- 
liam A. Westerson, J. S. Festerson, L. J. Montgomery, H. C. 
Bell, B. Frank McComb and II. 0. Cady. 

Kenyon — P. H. Bradley, A. ('. Kingsford, W. II. Hollands, 
H. G. Blanch and G. V. Kinney. 

Parochial schools have been conducted in the various com- 
munities ever since the county was first settled, and have added 
much to the upbuilding of its citizenship. There have been and 
are several types of these schools. Three denominations in Red 
Wing have maintained schools in which the pupils attend the 
wmole year in place of attending the public schools. A similar 
school has been conducted at Hay Qreek. In these schools 
instruction is given in the teachings of the church by which the 
school is maintained and in some or all of the common branches 
of the public schools. In some, instruction is also given in a 
foreign language. 

In one community two congregations unite and employ a 
parochial teacher who teaches five months in each congregation, 
the schoolhouses being owned by the congregations and located 
near their respective churches. In these schools instruction is 
given in some of the common branches. Outside of the five 
months of parochial school the pupils attend the public school. 

In some communities congregations have followed the plan 
of employing a parochial teacher for the entire year and dividing 
the congregations into four or five districts with one or two 
months of parochial school in each. Generally the terms of the 


public school are so arranged as to allow the pupils of each 
community to attend both schools. No instruction in the com- 
mon branches is attempted in these parochial schools, the work 
being confined to instruction in the teachings and language of 
the church by which they are maintained. The buildings of the 
various school districts are generally used also for the denomi- 
national schools, though in some cases there are buildings erected 
for that special purpose. 

In many places no teacher is employed by the congregations, 
but each community is allowed to provide the religious instruc- 
tion of its children in the way it thinks best. In such com- 
munities the public school is usually maintained during the fall 
and winter and a private school conducted during one or two 
months of the summer. Sometimes the same teacher will teach 
both schools. 

In practically all of the churches located in the cities and 
villages the religious instruction is given through the agency of 
Sunday schools. The work of these schools has been helped and 
stimulated in a splendid way by the Goodhue County Sunday 
School Association, which was organized in 1859. and which 
celebrated its semi-centennial in Red Wing last June. The three 
guests of honor at this celebration were Professor Jabez Brooks, 
the first president of the association, and M. B. Lewis and Louis 
Johnson, charter members and active workers in the association 
during its whole history. 

The comity lias been very fortunate in having within its 
boundaries several private and denominational schools for 
advanced education. The first one of these schools was Hamline 
University, under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. This school commenced its work in 1854. with Rev. 
Jabez Brooks as principal, and continued during the next fifteen 
years, when it was removed to St. Paul. The Red AYing Col- 
legiate Institute was incorporated in 1870. with the following 
members of the first board of directors: L. F. Hubbard. 0. C. 
Webster, F. A. Cole, James Lawther, Peter Daniels and W. P. 
Hood. Two large buildings were erected on College Bluff at a 
cost of $17,000, the land being donated by Edward Murphy. The 
school was conducted for about three years. The property was 
later sold to the Hauges Norwegian Lutheran Synod and has 
since been used as a college and divinity school for young men. 
This institution gets its students from all over the Northwest, 
but many of the young men of the county have also made use of 
the excellent opportunities which are offered. The Villa Maria 
is a convent school for girls located near Frontenac. It is in 
charge of the Ursuline nuns and is doing much for the education 
of young girls. The Lutheran Ladies' Seminary began its work 


in the fall of 1893 and has grown to be a very prosperous institu- 
tion with a large enrollment. Various business colleges have 
from time to time been conducted in Red Wing and have enjoyed 
considerable prosperity. 

The only state institution located in the county is the State 
Training School, situated two miles from Red Wing. — Julius 

Hamline University. — The pioneers in a new country are as a 
rule men not only of brawn, but also of supreme faith and 
courage. It is faith that gives them the stamina to battle against, 
the difficulties and privations of frontier life. By faith, they see 
great cities where the eye sees nothing but the wigwams of the 
.savage ; great industries where no sound is heard save that of 
the waterfall ; great schools and churches where only the mis- 
sionary is found seeking to reveal the truth to Nature's children. 
The early Methodist preachers were no exception to this rule. 
They believed that the fertile soil of Minnesota would one day 
furnish sustenance for millions ; that mighty cities would be 
built, and that an empire of boundless resources would develop 
upon that vast expanse of forest and plain. Accordingly, one 
of their representatives, the Rev. David Brooks, made his appear- 
ance at the Territorial Council of Minnesota with a remarkable 
proposition. It chanced that he went to William Pitt Murray, 
a man who served the people of his state well for many years. 

In a speech delivered at Hamline University, at St. Paul, May 
10, 1897, on the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of the 
birth of Leonidas L. Hamline, Mr. Murray related the incident 
as follows : 

"Early in January, 1854, a clergyman of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church from Wisconsin came to me, I being then a mem- 
ber of the Territorial Council, and handed me a draft of a bill 
which he desired introduced in the Territorial Legislature, to 
incorporate the Minnesota Academy, an institution to be under 
the control of the Wisconsin conference. I said to him that a 
special charter would be unnecessary, as the winter previous an 
act had been passed to authorize three or more persons whom 
might be desirous of forming a corporation for seminary pur- 
poses, to become a body corporate by complying with certain 
conditions named in said act. The gentleman seemed quite 
anxious to have a special act, under the impression that a legis- 
lative act would give it more character, of which I did not 
approve. Perhaps as an inspiration, I suggested that it would 
afford me pleasure to aid in the passage of a university charter, 


which I had to name. The idea to him was a novelty. A denomi- 
national university in a frontier territory, with a population of 
less than eight thousand people — they generally without means 
—and the Methodist Episcopal Church without a membership 
sufficient to maintain a conference, "was a pleasantry the old 
veteran of the cross could not appreciate He being an English- 
man, born and bred, may have thought of the universities of 
Oxford and Cambridge, with their numerous colleges and halls, 
and with their large libraries and wealth. A feeder for some 
college down east, where there was more money and a higher 
civilization, was Ids ambition and hope. We did not agree and 
the bill was returned to him. A day or two after, my associate 
in the Territorial Council, the Hon. Isaac Van Etten, introduced 
the bill to incorporate the Minnesota Academy. Having made up 
my mind that my Methodist brethren either had to have n univer- 
sity charter or none. I had the bill referred to a special com- 
mittee, of which I was a member. The other members of the 
committee were indifferent what became of the bill, whether it 
was reported back to the council with the recommendation that 
it pass, or report a substitute authorizing the establishment of 
ferries, or the laying out of country roads, or the erection of 
sign boards at cross-roads to indicate the right road for country 
preachers across the prairies to their various appointments. 
After having consulted with the Rev. -John Kearns, the pastor 
©f the old Market Street Church in the city of St. Paul, the 
parent and first Methodist Episcopal church in the territory of 
which the Central Park Methodist Church of St. Paul is the 
successor, and the Rev. B. F. Hoyt, a pioneer clergyman who 
resided in St. Paul, both of whom were of the opinion that a 
university charter would be a good thing and might perhaps be 
got under way before the end of the century. At all events, it 
would be a good thing to talk about as indicative of the growth 
of Methodism in the West, although for a long time it might be 
found nowhere except on the statutes. I then prepared to draft 
my bill — substitute for the seminary bill. The name for the uni- 
versity, I had already determined upon. There were two reasons. 
I may say, which led to this : 

"'On a summer evening in 1852 I attended a reception at the 
Wesleyan Female College, at Cincinnati. Ohio, during commence- 
ment week, and among the guests was Bishop Leonidas L. Ham- 
line, to whom I had an introduction, and who soon after asked 
me to have a seat by his side. AYe spent nearly the entire even- 
ing together. He appeared to be interested in the Northwest, 
especially in the young and frontier territory of Minnesota. He 
wanted to know all about her settlers, what kind of people were 
making their homes in her villages and on her prairies: whether 


the church from which he had just resigned the high office of 
bishop was holding its own among the churches of the territory 
in its missionary and pioneer work. He seemed pleased at what 
I told him. During the evening his conversation and advice were 
fatherly; his aim and thought, apparently, to mark out to me the 
better way, with now and then incidents of his own early life. 
To me it was interesting and never forgotten, and as we parted 
I remember so distinctly his cheery words: 'Good night, good 
night. God bless you.' The memories of that evening, together 
with a correspondence with him afterwards, led me to have a 
very great regard for the Bishop. This, coupled with the fact 
that Bishop Hamline had been one of the most distinguished 
prelates in the United States — the peer of any in ability and 
piety — is what gave the institution its name. 

'The next question was, where shall the institution of the 
future be located? The early legislators believed that the suc- 
cess of an educational institution depended largely upon its prox- 
imity to navigable streams, for the reason that a large majority 
of the earlier settlers made their homes near the Mississippi and 
Minnesota rivers and Lake St. Croix — and for a further reason 
that students, like freight', are more cheaply transported by 
water than by land. Therefore the bill provided 'that said uni- 
versity be located on the Mississippi River, between St. Paul and 
Lake Pepin,' it being understood that if there was no town 
worthy of the honor, one could be made. The bill, as reported, 
or at least substantially so, passed both houses and became a 
law, March 3, 1854. 

'The Bishop was advised of the action of the legislature, and 
a copy of the act was forwarded to him. This was the first inti- 
mation that he had that such a scheme was thought of; he fell 
complimented and intimated in reply that he would do something 
for his namesake. 

'Within a few weeks after the passage of the act. Hoyt, 
Brooks and Bidwell issued a call for a meeting of the incorpora- 
tion to be held on May 19, in the city of St. Paul. In response 
to the call, a meeting was held, and the charter accepted, when 
an adjournment was had until June 12, 185*4. When the trustees 
held their second meeting, more than one village contested for 
the prize; even St. Paul thought it was a plum worth looking 
after. The late Major Nathaniel McLean offered twenty acres of 
land on Dayton's Bluff, now known as Suburban Hills, ami 
among the most elevated and beautiful building sites on the Mis- 
sissippi River, then just outside the corporate limits of the town 
of St. Paul. Lyman Dayton. Ira Bidwell. William II. Randall 
and Louis Robert also made Liberal offers of broad acres and 
town lots for its location. William Freeborn, one of the trustees, 


became very much interested in its location, and, with what he 
claimed to be a prophetic vision, declared that the little village 
of Red Wing, with its three hundred inhabitants, and a total 
valuation of real and personal property for taxation less than 
$70,000, was in the future to be a city that would rank high in 
intelligence, wealth and population among the cities of Minne- 
sota, and demanded that the new university be located there, as 
a matter of right, claiming that myself and others had so prom- 
ised. The fact was admitted, and Red Wing became the home 
of Hamline University." 

The first board of trustees was a remarkable set of men. 
Among them representing the clergy of the Methodist Episcopal 
were Rev. Chauncey Hobart, Rev. John Kearns, Rev. David 
Brooks, Rev. Matthew Sorin and Rev. Thomas M. Fullerton. 
The others were Parker Payne. Ira Bidwell, P>. F. Hoyt, Willis 
A. Gorman, Alexander Ramsey. Samuel C. Thomas, Merritt Allen, 
Hart Boughton, William Freeborn and W. D. Woodbury. 

As soon as the location was decided upon, the trustees began 
to make preparations for opening the school. Bishop Hamline 
gave $25,000, $12,000 in real estate in New York and $13,000 in 
real estate in Chicago; the citizens of Red Wing subscribed 
liberally, and the way was thus opened for immediate action. 

At that time there was a young man who was preacher in 
charge of Jackson Street (now Summerfield) Church, Milwaukee. 
He had graduated with high honors from Wesleyan University, 
Middletown, Conn., in 1850. He knew something of the begin- 
ning of the settlement of Minnesota and was attracted by its 
possibilities. So when he was invited to become principal of the 
preparatory department of Hamline University, to be opened in 
the fall of 1854, he readily consented and hopefully set out for 
his new field of labor. This was the beginning of the connection 
of Dr. Jabez Brooks with Hamline University, a connection not 
to be permanently severed so long as the institution remained 
at Red Wing. 

On November 16. 1854, the preparatory department was 
opened with an attendance of thirty-three. Two rooms were 
secured on the second floor of the store building of Smith, Hoyt 
& Co., near the river, and here the history of higher education in 
the state of Minnesota began. The beginning was humble. Fine 
buildings, great libraries, extensive laboratories — all were want- 
ing; but the essential elements of true education were there — 
cultured Christian teachers and pupils eager for knowledge. 

The faculty was small. In the first annual catalogue, pub- 
lished in 1855, were but three names — Rev. Jabez Brooks, A. M., 
principal; Miss Louisa Sherman, teacher of modern languages, 
painting and drawing; Mrs. Frances L. Dunning, teacher of 


music and ornamental work. Rev. Jabez Brooks was librarian. 
The students were chiefly from Minnesota ; but Michigan, Iowa 
and AVisconsin were represented among them. The total number 
enrolled the first year was seventy-three, thirty ladies and forty- 
three gentlemen. During the first year of Hamline's history the 
trustees proceeded to erect a college building. A block of ground 
in the heart of the town was donated by the proprietors of the 
town site. Plans were adopted and in August the active work of 
construction was started. That same fall the building was 
completed. It was formally opened January 10, 1855. 

It has been stated that Bishop Hamline gave $25,000 to the 
institution in real estate, part of which was in Chicago and part 
in New York City. The property in New York was set aside for 
building purposes. Though it was worth $12,000 when given by 
Bishop Hamline. yet when it came to be sold it had so fallen in 
value that the university realized from it only a little more than 
$7,000, and so there fell upon the institution, immediately upon 
its erection, an incumbrance which constituted the bulk of its 
indebtedness and finally became one of the causes of its 

In the spring of 1857 President Brooks, whose health was 
failing on account of overwork, resigned. Thus far, only the 
preparatory department had been organized, and as a number 
were ready for college it was decided to establish a full and 
complete college course. Rev. B. F. Crary, D. D.. was elected 
president. Up to this time Minnesota had been prosperous. Trus- 
tees of the institution had been able to secure the funds neces- 
sary for maintaining the institution as easily as could be expected 
in a new country, sparsely settled, when all the money that could 
be secured was expended for improvements. But in the same 
month when it was decided to throw open the doors of Hamline 
for a full and complete college education to the youth of the 
Northwest, when with an increased faculty the running expenses 
of the institution were largely augmented, a financial panic 
struck the entire country. It was especially severe in Minnesota, 
because there had been no opportunity for the settlers to store 
away wealth against the time of adversity. Values ceased to 
exist; the wealthy became poor; it was a question of daily bread 
rather than riches, or the rearing of magninYenl buildings for 
educational purposes. 

In 1859 the first college class was graduated. There were 
but two members, Elizabeth and Mary Sorin, daughters of one 
of the trustees. In the spring of 1861 came the War of the 
Rebellion. One of the faculty, IT. B. Wilson, professor «»!' mathe- 
matics, and many of the students enlisted. There were few. if 
any, young men left who were physically able to hear arms. At 


this time, too, President Crary, who had been struggling manfully 
to keep Hamline alive in those years succeeding the panic of '57, 
was selected by a committee of the legislature of Minnesota to 
organize the public school system of the state, and he accepted 
the appointment. In the meantime the Rev. Jabez Brooks had 
recovered his health and the trustees elected him to the presi- 
dency. His was no enviable task. The institution was in debt, 
most of her young men had gone to the war; her friends, many 
of them, were penniless, and the resources of the state were taxed 
to the utmost to maintain order on the frontier while her sons 
fought for the preservation of the Union. He threw into it all 
the energy of his young manhood. Up and down the state he 
went soliciting funds. lie did double work in the classroom. He 
used his private funds to provide for his family; he did every- 
thing that was possible for him to do. withholding nothing of 
time or talents or energy, and Hamline lived. 

Tin; last commencement at Red AVing occurred March 4, 1869.' 
At the annual conference of the church held in October, 1869. a 
report presented shows that at that time the question of the 
removal of the college was being agitated. On July 6 of that 
year the trustees decided thai in view of financial conditions it 
would not be wise to reopen the doors of the college during the 
ensuing year. Later the institution was removed to St. Paul, 
and today it has the honor not only of being the oldest college 
in the state, but also one of the leading educational institutions 
in the Northwest. Various reasons, among which financial 
troubles form an important part, are given for the removal of 
the university to St. Paid. Red Wing people have always 
regretted the removal; and there are many friends of the univer- 
sity who assert that, successful as has been the career of that 
institution, it would have had a still more glorious history had 
it remained in Red Wing and the drawbacks of s us j tension and 
removal been obliterated. 

The property was sold to the city of Red Wing for $5,000, 
the transfer papers bearing the date of February 24. 1872. The 
building was torn down and the material sold to whatever pur- 
chasers could be found. The ground is still owned by the city 
and is dedicated to the uses of a public park. The ground was 
graded without the expense of entirely removing the foundation 
walls, and even to the present day in very dry weather the grass 
dries above the old walls and the outlines of the historic old 
building may plainly be seen. 

Red Wing Seminary. — This institution is located on College 
Bluff and commands a view of the most picturesque natural 


scenery of any school in the Northwest. The property was pur- 
chased from the Red Wing Collegiate Institute and placed in the 
possession of the Hauges Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Synod 
through the personal efforts of H. M. Sande, a farmer living in 
the township of AYanamingo ; A. Ellingson, of Red Wing, and 
Rev. 0. Hanson, of AYanamingo. The first school year com- 
menced in September, 1879. Rev. I. Eistenson was the principal 
and Prof. G. O. Brohaugh his assistant. Several instructors were 
also engaged, among whom may he mentioned Prof. II. P. Wilson. 
Seventy students were enrolled during the first year. 

The purpose 1 of the school is to furnish a general Christian 
culture and more particularly to prepare ministers and teachers 
for the synod. The work at first consisted of an academic course 
of three years and a theological course of three years. As the 
institution developed it was found necessary to lengthen the 
preparatory course. This was done in 1889, when it was changed 
from three to four years. In 1897 it was changed to five years, 
and in 1908 it was extended to seven years, making it a complete 
college course. The school year was also changed from seven to 
nine months. A commercial department has been added, as well 
as a musical department. 

The school soon outgrew the "Old Building," and "Summer 
Hall" was bought and completed in 1882. In 1902 the synod 
decided to build another building, and this was completed in 
1901 and is known as the "Main Building." Besides this and 
the two old buildings which now are used for dormitories, there 
is a president's house, a hospital and a heating plant, the whole 
property now costing approximately $100,000. . 

During the past year the school has employed three profes- 
sors of theology and five professors in the academy and college, 
together with several special instructors. The total number of 
students was about two hundred. 

Those who have served as presidents of the seminary are T. 
Eistenson, J. Kyllingstad, A. Wenaas, J. N. Kildahl, O. S. Meland, 
H. H. Bergsland and M. G. Hanson. Among those who have acted 
as instructors may be noted S. Gunnerson, E. Kr. Johnson, G. 
Rast, J. A. Leas, L. Chally, A. J. Reichert. O. R. AYold. J. Telleen, 
M. O. Wee, E. AY. Schmidt for the theological department, and 
G. O. Brohaugh, IT. II. Elstad, C. R, Hill, E. AY. Schmidt. I. M. 
Anderson. Julius Boraas, E. 0. Ringstad. William Mills, G. EL 
Ellingson and O. 0. Stageberg for the preparatory department. 
Selma Gibson and G. A. Eausner have had charge of the musical 

Since the beginning of the school 138 have graduated from 
the theological course, nearly all of whom are pastors or mission- 
aries in the various fields of the synod. The total number of 


graduates from the preparatory department is 237. Of these 
seventy-two have become pastors, twenty-eight have taken up 
school work as teachers, professors or superintendents, twenty- 
two are in business, there are twenty physicians, eleven lawyers, 
four editors, three publishers, four dentists, three farmers, two 
bankers, two engineers, thirty-one students at various institutions. 
Rev. Martin Gustav Hanson. — To a college man there is always 
one distinction which in his heart of hearts is more precious than 
all else that he may achieve in life, and that one thing is the 
honor of being called to a chair of his alma mater, in the halls 
of which his own young manhood has received the stamp which 
marks it in after life. Immeasurably greater, however, is the 
privilege of some time attaining the presidency of that institu- 
tion, and thus having an important share not only in its progress 
and work, but also in its policies and discipline. Among the men 
to whom the felicity of such a lot has fallen is the subject of 
this sketch. Born at Wanamingo. this county, July 11, 1859, he 
is the son of Oesten and Maria (Christopherson) Hanson, both 
natives of Norway. The father came to America at the age of 
fifteen years and located at Lewiston. Wis., later removing to 
AVanamingo. where he was one of the pioneers. For thirty-seven 
years he was a preacher of the gospel, working against fearful 
odds, preaching the ideals of Christianity to a people who were 
wrestling with the problem of existence, and to whom the reali- 
ties of life were necessarily presented in their daily toil in the 
most materialistic aspects. A pioneer preacher in those days 
must needs be a man of strong inward faith and also rugged 
physique, a man who could preach to the hearts of the people 
the true word, and at the same time be able to meet with unfail- 
ing courage the almost unnumbered pioneer discomforts. His 
wife, gifted in all motherly and wifely finalities, was an able 
support in all his undertakings. It is pleasing to record that 
Oesten Hanson lived to see the seed he planted bear fruit in abun- 
dant measure, and to see a pioneer people develop into a com- 
munity of prosperous and God-fearing agriculturists. For a long 
period he served the churches at Aspelund, Kenyon and Roseoe, 
his death occurring August 4, 1898, he having many years sur- 
vived his wife, who died in 1866. The following account of his 
services was published shortly before his death: : 'Pastor Han- 
son has been a member of the synodical council of the Hague 
Synod since 1863, has served as president or vice president of 
the synod for more than a quarter of a century; has been presi- 
dent of the Red Wing Seminary and of the synod's mission com- 
mittee, and has been prominently identified with the synod in 
other ways for more than three decades. He has three sons who 
are ministers of the gospel — Rev. M. G. Hanson, Rev. H. A. 


Hanson and Rev. Thomas L. Hanson." Martin, early in life left 
without a mother's care received his education in the public 
schools of Wanamingo, and then entered the Red Wing Seminary, 
at that time a much smaller institution than at present. In 1884 
he received his diploma from that school, and was ordained the 
same year at Lee county. Illinois, his first charge being the 
Emanuel and East Emanuel churches at St. Paul. Minn. At the 
same time he served the congregations at Renville and Frost, 
Minn. In 1892 he was sent to Grand Forks, N. D., where he had 
pastoral charge of the district including the churches at Grand 
Forks, Reynolds, Buxton, Valle, Grafton, Nash, Crookston and 
Oslo. In 1898, when those in charge of the Red Wing Seminary 
were looking for a capable man for the presidency of that institu- 
tion, their attention was called to the young clergyman who a 
few years before had graduated from its doors with honors. He 
accordingly received the call and accepted, believing that in this 
position was a wider field of usefulness. His work since that 
time is too well known to need comment, and future historians 
of the institution will write of him that praise which it is not 
always fitting should be written of a modest man still in the 
prime of his activities. His work for five years as vice president 
of the synod, for six years as president of the same body, for four 
years as president of the district of North Dakota, and for many 
years as president of the Inner Mission of the Synod, in which 
position he is now serving, are a part of the chronicles of his 
denomination. Rev. Hanson has taken to himself as a companion 
in life, Caroline Runiee, of Crawford county, Wisconsin, daughter 
of Ole and Guri Runiee. natives of Norway. This union has been 
blessed with five children. Oscar A., born August 14. 1887, at 
St. Paul, Minn., died in infancy. Adolph M. was born September 
11, 1888, at St. Paul. Babel G. was born November 24, 1890, in 
the same city. Reuben B. was born August 30, 1892. at Grand 
Forks, N. D., and George W., who is a general favorite with the 
faculty and student body of the seminary, was born under the 
shadows of the classic halls of that institution of learning 
August 4, 1899. 

The Orphans' Home at Vasa had its beginning in 1865, when 
four little children were thrown on the mercy and charity of 
others. Dr. E. Norelius conceived the idea of opening a place for 
them, and so a room in the basement of the old Lutheran Church 
at Vasa was fitted up. Soon, however, other children were found 
to be in need and this room became too small. With a little 
assistance Dr. Norelius purchased a small tract of land and con- 
structed a building, more properly a shanty. It was made of 


rough boards and patched together and mended in every con- 
eeivable way to keep out the winter's cold. The increase of little 
orphans who were being cared for by the pastor soon made the 
quarters too small for convenience. A home was therefore con- 
structed and did good service until 1879. when the building was 
levelled to the ground by a cyclone. A subscription list was 
started and another building was constructed. Again came a 
sad day, November 2:5. 1899. when the home was burned to the 
ground. The Swedish Augustana Synod, which had taken charge 
of the home, immediately, assisted by the local board of directors 
and residents of Red Wing and Vasa. took steps to build the 
comfortable home which is occupied at the present time. In the 
meantime the Little folks had been sheltered in the homes of 
neighboring families, some of whom afterward decided to adopt 
the little strangers who had thus been thrown on their mercy. 
The building, which is a frame structure, is neat and attractive. 
the total cost being aooul $8,000. The children are well cared 

for and given a g I education, both in English and Swedish. 

Red Wing Lutheran Ladies' Seminary. — Twenty years ago 
the now sainted Rev. II. A. Preuss suggested the advisability of 
erecting a school for young ladies at \\c<\ Wing on the very spol 
on which the Ladies' Seminary now stands. The suggestion was 
not acted upon at the time, but in the year 1889 some of the 
members of the Red Wine- Norwegian Lutheran Church, deeply 
feeling the want of an institution of this character, determined 
to ered a seminary in this city, and secured the very tract of 

ground which the Rev. Preuss had rec mended twenty years 

before. In this year. 1889, however, the Luther College at 
Decorali, Iowa, was totally destroyed by fire. The incorporators 
of the Red Wing venture, knowing thai their help was needed 
at the rebuilding of the Decorali school, generously postponed 
the erection of their own institution. In the beginning of 1892 
they thought that the time had come for them to proceed with 
the execution of their project. They therefore solicited subscrip- 
tions, adopted a .plan and began active work. Owing to the 
financial depression the opening of the school was delayed one 
year, but They succeeded in completing the present magnificent 
structure so that active school work commenced November 5, 

The school is located on a bluff overlooking the city and the 
Mississippi river. The main building and dining hall are con- 
structed of pressed brick on cut stone foundations. The music 
hall, a newer building, is constructed of the same material. 

The seminary aims to give its pupils a thorough and practical 
education on a Christian basis, and includes the usual academic 
literary, musical, art. religious and scientific courses, both col- 


Legiate and preparatory, together with many branches distinc- 
tively feminine, such as domestic science, housekeeping, needle- 
work and cooking. 

Rev. Hans Allen is at the head of the institution. There are 
twenty-six incorporators and the officers are: President, Rev. K. 
Bjorgo; vice president, Dr. C. L. Opsal; secretary, H. L. Hjerm- 
stad; trustees, C. II. Boxrud, C. F. Hjermstad, Dr. C. L. Opsal, 
Joh. Ylvisaker, J. C. Seebach, Albert Johnson, R. H. Boxrud. H. 
Allen, K. Bjorgo and H. L. Hjermstad are ex-officio members. 

The total number of pupils enrolled during the school year 
1908-09 was 183. Of these 10 were by nationality Norwegian, 48 
German, 11 American, 7 Swedish, 5 Danish, 1 Swiss and 1 Finish. 
Of these 156 were boarders and 27 city people. 

Six pupils were enrolled as specials, 11 were in the prepara- 
tory course, 40 in the domestic economy, 1 in the normal, 55 in 
the seminary and 14 in the college courses. Twenty-one were 
enrolled in the department of elocution, 15 in the commercial 
course. 57 in the art department. 43 in the vocal department, 15 in 
the piano department. 3 in violin and the Choral Society num- 
bered 133. 

At the graduating exercises on June 10, 1909, 18 received 
diplomas from the seminary course, 1 from the normal, 7 from 
the domestic economy and 11 from the commercial courses; 4 
received diplomas from the piano department and 1 from the 
voice culture department. 

Rev. Hans Allen, president of the faculty of the Lutheran 
Ladies' Seminary, is a gentleman of unquestioned integrity and 
marked scholarly attainments, one who stands high in the min- 
isterial and educational ranks of the county. He is a native 
of Decorah Iowa, born March 15, 1861, son of Guttorm Allen, who 
came to America in 1844, and the same year enlisted in the Mex- 
ican war. Here he did his adopted country brave and efficient 
service. Upon his return he located at Jefferson Prairie, Wis., 
and married Kirsten Rishovd, a native of Norway, who came 
to this country in 1846. At Jefferson Prairie he farmed for a 
short time, afterward removing to Decorah, Iowa, Avhere he pur- 
chased 360 acres and carried on agricultural operations on an 
extensive scale. He died in 1902 and his wife followed him to 
the Great Beyond diiring the following year. Hans Allen at- 
tended the common schools of his neighborhood and entered the 
Luther College of Decorah, Iowa, receiving his diploma with 
honors in 1883. He supplemented this training with a three years' 
course at the Concordia College, St. Louis, Mo., after which he 
was ordained to the ministry in the fall of 1886. His first charge 
was at Portland, Trail county. North Dakota, where he served 
eight congregations in an able manner for six years. His work in 


this capacity attracted attention, and in 1892 he was assigned to 
a congregation at Mankato, Minn., where he labored acceptably 
two years. In 1894 came the opportunity for wider service when 
he was called to the presidency of the Lutheran Ladies ' Seminary, 
in which capacity he has remained to the present day, having 
charge of the institution and occupying the chair of Norwegian 
Literature, Bible and Church History. As a disciplinarian he 
combines the qualities of justness with gentleness, as a teacher he 
is an acute thinker and incisive reasoner, and as a citizen his 
opinions command esteem, respect and consideration. Rev. Allen 
was married June 13, 1887, at Decorah. Iowa, to Emma Wingaard, 
of that place, daughter of Ole and Marie Wingaard, natives of 
Norway. The mother is now deceased and the father lives in 
Decorah. To Rev. and Mrs. Allen have been born three children : 
Nellie M. E., born April 3, 1888, and Clara L., born January 22, 
1892, are students at the seminary, while Esther E., born March 
28, 1898, attends the parish school of Evangelical Lutheran Trin- 
ity Church at Red AVing. 

The Minnesota State Training School, formerly known as the 
Minnesota State Reform School, has a beautiful location of about 
450 acres of land, something over a mile below the city of Red 
AVing. The group of buildings is situated on an elevated plateau 
leading down by a gentle slope to the Mississippi river and com- 
manding a view that in itself should be an inspiration to the way- 
ward or unfortunate ones who spend their youth in the school. 
The institution has been in existence since January 15, 1868, and 
had occupied its present site since October, 1891. The State 
expended over $300,000 on the property and buildings, gained 
from the sale of the old site of the school in St. Paul, that location 
having wonderfully increased in value since the establishment of 
the sjchool in 1868. The school is occupied on the family plan, 
each family of some fifty boys, classified according to age, having 
a cottage and playground of its own, but with a dining hall in 
common. The girls' school is a building by itself, 300 feet west 
of the other buildings, and its management is entirely separate 
and distinct from the boys. The exterior of the buildings are 
of brick and stone, the interior being entirely of hardwood. 
There is nothing at the school to suggest that it is a penal insti- 
tution, the boys themselves looking like cadets in a military 
school, clothed as they are in neat uniforms. Graded schools, 
similar to ordinary public schools, are conducted, one-half of the 
scholars attending in the forenoon and working in the afternoon, 
and vice versa. The grading and beautifying of the extensive 
grounds have all been done by the boys, who also cultivate the 
large garden patches which supply the schools with vegetables 
and fruit for use on the tables and feed for the stock. The boys 


do all their housework, cooking, baking, laundry work, etc., and 
the entire institution is a marvel of neatness. The school main- 
tains a carpenter shop, shoe shop, tailor shop, printing office and 
other establishments. A small paper, the Riverside, is printed 
by the boys, who also supply the material for its contents. An- 
other enjoyable attraction of school life is a well trained brass 
band. The boys and girls are sentenced under sixteen years of 
age, and can be kept, the boys until they are twenty-one and the 
girls until they are eighteen, but they may be paroled on their 
good behavior during that time. There are no statistics available 
on which to base a percentage of those redeemed by the good 
influence of the school, but it is believed that the results rank 
well with the results obtained by other state institutions of sim- 
ilar character. Religion is made a part of the ever-day life, with 
special services Sunday. 

Red Wing Collegiate Institute. — This institute was organized 
and incorporated August 28, 1870, with the following board of 
officers : president, Lucius F. Hubbard ; secretary, Charles C. 
Webster; treasurer, F. A. Cole. Directors: James Lawther, Peter 
Daniels, Lucius F. Hubbard, Charles C. AVebster, F. A. Cole and 
W. P. AVood. The grounds were donated by Edward Murphy, 
of Minneapolis, and funds raised for building purposes by issu-' 
ing stock certificates to the amount of $12,500. Daniels & Sim- 
mons took the contract for a consideration of $14,800, and to 
complete it a mortgage was given to Joseph Averill, of Danvers, 
Alassachusetts, who advanced $5,000. The institute was success- 
ful for about three years, when, for want of funds it was sold to 
Joseph Averill, to satisfy the above noted mortgage. January 
8, 1878, it Avas purchased by Hans Marcuson, in trust for the 
Hauges Norwegian Evangelical Synod, and afterwards deeded 
to a board of" directors, viz.: Hans Marcuson, Gunelf Tollefson.. 
Knut John Stangeland, and Andrew Ellingson, with the design 
of making it a Lutheran Theological Seminary. 

Frank A. Whittier, whose efficient management of the State 
Training School has won praise from far beyond the borders of 
the state, is a native of this state, born June 22, 1860. His par- 
ents, Albert and Lucy A. (Wellington) Whittier, both natives of 
New Hampshire, were descended from old Granite State families. 
They ventured in the early days into what was then the new 
country of Ohio. Imbued with the pioneer spirit, they found 
that the rich valleys of Ohio Avere fast passing the stages of early 
settlement, and consequently determined to try their fortunes 
still further to the westAvard. Consequently the year of 1856 
saw them located in Minneapolis, where young Frank A. ivas 
born. In the summer of 1860, they settled in Empire township, 


Dakota county, and purchased 240 acres of land. The father at 
once set to work with vigor and soon the land was under cultiva- 
tion, while a comfortable home sheltered the family. Here the 
roof tree was established, and happiness and prosperity was the 
lot of the family until December 14, 1884, when the stricken home 
mourned the loss of the mother. A few years later, in 1891, the 
father took up his residence with a daughter in Farmington, 
this state, where he died, August 23, 1904. Frank A. was brought 
up on a farm, and attended the district schools in Empire town- 
ship. Later he graduated from the Hastings High School, in 
which institution he made so good a record that he had no diffi- 
culty in securing a clerical position in the bank there. A year 
later he returned home, and remained on the farm until 1888. 
From that date until 1893 he ran an establishment for the retail 
handling of dairy products in St. Paul, this business later being 
disposed of to the Crescent Creamery Company. His next em- 
ployment was with the municipal engineering department of the 
city of Minneapolis, and in 1895 he was appointed state agent for 
the state prison and reformatory, in which position he remained 
until he came to -Red Wing as superintendent of the Minneapolis 
State Training School, an office which he has retained to the 
present day. It is interesting to note that while on the farm 
for the benefit of his health, after leaving the bank at Hastings, 
Mr. "WMttier taught in the rural school districts for several years. 
In politics he is a Republican, in fraternal affiliation a member 
of the Masonic order and of the Independent Order of Foresters. 
In religious belief he favors the Universalist church. Mr. Whit- 
tier was married, April 2, 1884, at Empire, Minn., to Margaret 
Cameron, by whom he has five children. Albert A., a graduate 
of the University of Chicago, is a civil engineer in the state of 
Utah, while Walter F., Grace, Horace B. and Myra' live with their 

Villa Maria Convent, a school for girls, under the direction of 
the Ursuline nuns of the Roman Catholic church, is situated on 
Lake Pepin, near the village of old Frontenac, the well-known 
summer resort. 

A more beautiful site for a school could not well be found; 
on a rise of ground, commanding a wide view of lake, valley, 
hill and plain, surrounded by park-like forests, and arched by 
the full sweep of the heavens, all the natural influences combine 
to elevate and instruct the mind. Nor are historical associations 
lacking, for on this very spot there stood, more than a century 
and a half ago, St. Michael's, one of the old French missionary 
for«ts of the upper Mississippi. 

The grounds, consisting of 120 acres, are the gift of General 


Israel Garrard, who spent a fortune and a great part of his life 
in improving and beautifying the already naturally beautiful vil- 
lage of Frontenac, to the attractions of which the villa now con- 
tributes in no small degree. Noticing the rapid growth of the 
school conducted at Lake City by the Ursulines, and appreciat- 
ing the difficulty for them of accomplishing in crowded quarters 
the work at which they aimed, the general offered in 1885 a tract 
of land for a more commodious institution. The offer was ac- 
cepted with gratitude, and, thanks to the noble generosity of 
Mother Kostha Bowman, the project was soon realized, and the 
construction of the largest educational building of the time, in the 
Northwest, was begun. The foundations were laid in 1888, and 
under the able superintendence of F. J. Evans and the assistance 
of 0. D. Prescott, the work progressed rapidly, the main build- 
ing being completed and dedicated in 1890. 

The building is cruciform in shape, with a length of 301 feet, 
and a width of 90 feet, exclusive of porches. It is four stories 
high, and is surmounted at the north end by a tower lifting a 
golden cross 150 feet above the ground. The main entrance is 
at the northeast corner, and opens into a spacious hall, extending 
to the opposite side, where a broad stairway of polished oak 
gives access to the floors above. The hall is lighted by large 
stained glass windows, and is crowned by a dome. 

On the left of the hall, on the ground floor, are the parlors, 
and from the right leads a corridor 200 feet long, out of which 
open the dormitory, the refectory,- and. at the farther end, the 
kitchen. The convent proper, for the nuns occupy the entire four 
stories of the west wing. Besides the many windows, there is a 
ventilating chimney, and the rooms are noticeably airy and com- 

On the second floor are the library, the museum, and the 
laboratories for physics and chemistry. Above the dormitory 
are a large, sunny study hall, music rooms and recitation rooms, 
and adjoining these are the gymnasium and recreation hall. 

On the third floor, the art rooms occupy the east end. and the 
greater part of the remainder of the space is given up to the 
chapel, a lovely devotional apartment, with high arched ceiling, 
frescoed walls and stained glass windows. In a vaulted recess 
at one end is the altar, an artistic piece of workmanship of pol- 
ished w r ood, carved and gilded. Framed into it above is a magnifi- 
cent painting of the Blessed Virgin, the work of one of the old 
masters, presented to one of the nuns by King Louis II. of Ba- 

The fourth floor contains an immense water tank which sup- 
plies the numerous bath and toilel rooms in various parts of the 


building, and serves as protection against fire. For further pro- 
tection from this danger there are patent extinguishers on every 
lioor. Artificial heat is supplied by the hot water system, and 
there is telephone connection. 

That the names of their generous benefactors may not be for- 
gotten, the nuns caused to be inserted into the northeast corner 
of the building a stone bearing the inscription, "Israel Garrard, 
noblis Benefaciente Gratulantes, Soc. Urs. Felice;" while over the 
door, in the chapel, a tablet is inscribed: "In memoriam — Hon. 
J. B. Bowman — nostri benefactoris mortui." In the hearts of 
the nuns these names are held in perpetual grateful memory. 

The course of study embraces all tbe branches of a thorough 
English education, combined with the culture of art, music and 
languages, and extends from lowest primary through the gram- 
mar and high school grades. Successful steps have been taken 
to have the school accredited to the University of Minnesota, so 
that graduates from the Villa who wish to continue their educa- 
tion in the University may be admitted to its courses without 
examinations. Lessons are also given in music, the arts and 
languages, as well as in the various branches of handiwork, for 
which the Ursuline nuns have won a high reputation. 

The physical development of the pupils is provided for in 
gymnasium and playground, and in the extraordinary opportuni- 
ties for the natural out-of-door exercises of walking, driving, 
boating and bathing, under the supervision of the ever-watchful 

Above all do the nuns regard the moral development of the 
child, and broad and deep do they lay the foundation stones of 
character. Religious instruction is given to the Catholic children, 
while all thejr pupils are trained daily and hourly in the pre- 
cepts and practices calculated to foster those noble qualities of 
head, heart and soul that go to the formation of true woman- 
hood. The character and accomplishments of the graduates who 
have gone out from Villa Maria during these past thirty years 
give ample testimony to the devotion of the nuns, and the thor- 
oughness of their training. 

The Gustavus Adolphus College, of St. Peter, was started in 
Red "Wing in 1862 by Dr. E. Norelius. The next year it was 
removed to East Union. Carver county, and named St. Ansgar's 
Academy. In 1874 a corporation was formed and in the next two 
years suitable buildings were erected at St. Peter's, where the 
institution has since been located, growing to tremendous im- 

Julius Boraas, M. L., educator and author, now living in Red 
Wing, was born in the township of Belle Creek, this county, De- 

Julius Boraas 

Sarah E. P. Hasler 


cember 7, 1871, son of Johannes and Ellen Boraas, who came from 
Stjordalen, near Trondhjem, Norway, directly to Goodhue county 
about forty years ago. He received his preliminary education in 
the schoolhouse of district 92, and from 1886 to 1890 attended 
the Red Wing Seminary, graduating with honors from the aca- 
demic course in the spring of 1890. After teaching school in the 
country for a year he entered the University of Minnesota, where 
he diligently pursued the college course from 1891 to 1895, gradu- 
ating in the latter year as valedictorian of his class. He received 
his degree of Master of Letters from the same institution in 1898. 
From 1895 to 1898 he was one of the popular instructors at the 
Red Wing Seminary and his appointment in the latter year as 
superintendent of county schools to fill the vacancy caused by 
the death of Mr. Engstrom met with popular approval. Since 
then Prof. Boraas has continued to serve in the same capacity, 
being elected successively in 1900, 1902, 1901, 1906 and 1908. 
Professor Boraas is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa, an hon- 
orary college fraternity. He was married on Thanksgiving Day, 
1897. at Kenyan, Minn., to Julia Rygh. and their happy home has 
been blessed with three children — Vivian, Harold and Nora. Prof. 
Boraas has placed the schools of Goodhue county on a high 
plane and his methods have been freely discussed and favorably 
commented upon by the educational journals. Among the causes 
of his success are these : He was thoroughly equipped by nature 
and education and has been absorbingly devoted to his work. He 
has a way of interesting the children in such a manner as to bring 
forth their best efforts and at the same time gain their love and 
respect. Besides being an educator he has the practical common 
sense of a business man, which has enabled him to enlist the 
co-operation of parents and school boards in bringing about the 
necessary improvements and reforms. A vein of kindly humor, 
of which Prof. Boraas is possessed, is a pleasing part of his per- 
sonality which impresses those he meets, whether in a business, 
educational or social way. 

As a writer Prof. Boraas' products are also in demand. He is 
the author of a useful book for teachers, entitled "Getting Along 
in Country Schools." This book, designed to furnish those lessons 
which, hitherto, teachers have learned only through years of ex- 
perience, has already had a wide circulation and is more than 
accomplishing its purpose. Its success has caused a demand for 
other books along the same line from his gifted pen. In addition 
to this. Prof. Boraas has written several serials for the "Young 
People's Friend," and has contributed extensively to the various 
school journals. 

Sarah E. Pettibone Hasler (Mrs. Samuel J.) is one of the 
prominent women of Red Wing and Goodhue county. She was 


one of the pioneer public school teachers of the county, and dur- 
ing her three decades of teaching many of the boys and girls who 
have since become well-known residents of the state passed under 
her tuition. She was born at Walled Lake, Oakland county, Mich- 
igan, September 23, 1838, daughter of Harmon and Tamizen 
(Dunning) Pettibone. The father was a native of Bennington, 
Vt'., and the mother of Saratoga Springs, N. Y. They moved to 
Walled Lake, Mich., and there the father was proprietor of a 
hotel. In June, 1854, they located in Red Wing, Harmon Petti- 
bone having made a trip here in the spring of the previous year. 
He built a mill on the present site of Charles Betcher's mills and 
became associated in the milling business with Ruben Knapp, 
under the firm name of Pettibone & Knapp. Later the firm be- 
came Freeborn & Pettibone, with William Freeborn as partner. 
In 1858 Mr. Pettibone sold out his interests here and moved to 
Hastings, this state, where he ended his days, in June, 1869. His 
wife died March 25, 1882. Sarah E. received her early education 
at Walled Lake, Mich., and graduated from the Hamline Univer- 
sity, at that time located in Red Wing, in 1861. While still a 
student, she started teaching, in 1857, her private school being 
soon afterward converted into a public school. From that date 
until July 1865, she taught school in Goodhue, Dakota and Hen- 
nepin counties. Later she again resumed that profession, teach- 
ing in all for the long period of thirty-three years. She was mar- 
ried December 11, 1865, at Hastings, Minn., to Samuel J. Hasler. 
Mr. Hasler was born at Harrisburg, Penn., March 18, 1831. He 
studied law at St. Paul, and came to Red Wing in 1855, his first 
employment being that of carpenter and ship builder. He joined 
the Union Army in 1861, enlisting at Mt. Vernon, Ohio, in Co. 
G, 20th Ohio Vol. Inf., serving under General Logan. He was 
promoted from private to captain, and commanded his company 
on the famous march through Georgia, under Sherman. Soon 
after his return to Red Wing he was elected justice of the peace, 
holding this office from 1866 until his death, June 6, 1887. He 
was an influential citizen of the early days and took a 
prominent part in the negotiations which ended with the building 
of the county court house. He was a Republican in politics, 
a Methodist in religion, a member of the Masonic order and of 
the G. A. R. To Mr. and Mrs. Hasler were born six children. 
Heman P., born August 3, 1866, is preparing to become a veter- 
inary surgeon at San Francisco, Cal. Maude B., born July 29, 
1868, married Joseph Batlo, and lives in Minneapolis. Wil- 
helmina T.. born October 10, 1871. married George Woodfill, a 
Minneapolis merchant. Frank J., born April 9, 1874, married 
Anna P. Ellingson, and lives in Rod Wing. Emma J., born March 
25, 1876. died January 25. 1881. Susie G., born March 26, 1878, 


married Herbert 0. Clark, and lives at St. Paul Park, this state. 
Mrs. Hesler is secretary of the Eastern Star and treasurer of the 
W. R. C, in which she is a leading member. She is also chairman 
of the executive committee of the Colvill Park Association, which 
has for its object the providing of a spacious breathing place for 
the people of Red "Wing during the summer months. 



Red Wing — First Post Master — Stage Coach Days — Growth and 
Progress — Other County Offices — Discontinued County Offi- 
cers — New Federal Building. — By C. A. Rasmussen. 

In 1851 Hon. H. H. Sibley, then the territorial delegate to 
congress from Minnesota, secured the establishment of a post- 
office at Red Wing, and Rev. J. W. Hancock, the pioneer resident, 
was commissioned postmaster. He was under the necessity of 
performing a journey to St. Paul to qualify and execute the re- 
quired bond at an expense of five dollars, and his income for the 
next two years hardly covered that expense. But the post-office 
was a great convenience for the few residents here, as previous 
to that time the nearest post-office was twenty-five miles away. 
The mail was carried in those days to and from St. Paul, easterly, 
by steamboats in the summer, and in the winter at first on foot 
and later by a one-horse train. Mails were expected once a week, 
but on account of floating ice interfering with the steamboats or 
blizzards with the one-horse train, the office was sometimes three 
weeks without mail and for that length of time all communication 
between the little band of pioneers and the outside -world was 
cut off. In the spring of 1852, on one occasion, the one-horse mail 
train was wrecked in crossing Spring creek. The mail bags, some 
five or six in number, were left several hours in the water and 
after being fished out were brought to Red Wing and Mr. Han- 
cock spent a whole day in drying out the mail. At one time, in 
the winter of 1855, the office was without mail for six weeks, the 
mail carrier having died and considerable delay having been ex- 
perienced securing a new carrier. 

In the fall of 1853, from which year really dates the first settle- 
ment of Red "Wing as a village — -prior to that time the point hav- 
ing been mainly a missionary station — Dr. W. W. SAveney was 
appointed postmaster. Rev. Hancock having resigned. Dr. 
Sweney served about a year and was succeeded by H. L. Bevans. 
Mr. Bevans served until 1858, when he was succeeded by H. C. 
Hoffman. It was during his administration that we find pub- 



lished for the first time an announcement for the Red Wing post- 
office, under date of January 21, 1859, there appearing, in the 
"Goodhue County Republican," the following: 

Red Wing Post-Office. 
Hours of Delivery of Mail. 
On Sundays from 9 to 10 a. m. On week days from 7 to 8 p. m. 
Hours of Arrival and Departure and the time of Closing Mails. 
Red Wing to La Crosse, — Leaves daily (now) at 3 :30 p. m. Ar- 
rives six times a week at 3:30 a. m. The Great Eastern and 
Southern mails are carried on this route. Mails close at 2 :00 
p. m. 

Red Wing and Saint Paul, — Leaves daily on the arrival of the 
Eastern stages at 3 :30 a. m. Mails close at 9 :00 the previous 

Red Wing to Cannon Falls and Le Sueur, — Leaves Monday, 
Wednesday, and Friday, at 8 :00 a. m. Arrives Tuesday, Thurs- 
day and Saturday. Mails close at 8 :00 the previous evening. 
Red Wing to Owatonna and Blue Earth City, — Leaves Monday 
and Thursday at 7 :00 a. m. Arrives Wednesday and Saturday at 
6 :00 p. m. Mail closes at 8 :00 the previous evening. 
Red Wing to St. Nicholas, — Leaves Monday and Thursday at 8 :00 
a. m. Arrives Wednesday and Saturday at 5:00 p. m. Mail closes 
at 8 :00 the previous evening. 

Red Wing to Winona, — Leaves Monday and Thursday at 6:00 a, m. 
Arrives Thursday and Saturday at 6:00 p. m. This route supplies 
all way offices on the river. Mail closes at 8 :00 the previous evening. 
Red Wing to Saint Paul. — Leaves Wednesday at 8 :00 a. m. Ar- 
rives Tuesday at 6:00 p. in. This route supplies way offices. Mail 
closes at 8:00 the previous evening. 

Red Wing to Mazeppa and Oronoco, — Leaves Monday at 8 :00 
a. m. Arrives Tuesday at 6:00 p. m. Mail closes at 8:00 the 
previous evening. 

Remember that all mail matter to be sent to any part of the 
United States must be fully prepaid. In prepaying foreign let- 
ters by affixing stamps, be careful to ascertain the correct amount 
of postage before mailing. 

Anything less than the full amount of postage counts nothing, 
and is lost to the sender. 

It will be seen from this that the stage coach lines had now 
come into general use in the mail-carrying capacities and Red 
Wing, being one of the chief distributing points along the river 
and the headquarters for a number of stage lines mining into the 
interior country, a considerable quantity of mail in transit must 
have been brought through here. Captain David Hancock — 
Uncle David, as he was then known and as he is still affection- 
ately termed — was a pioneer in this mail service. In 1855 he car- 
ried the mail between Red Wing and Frontenac, supplying Wa- 
coota en route, giving service once a week. Later this route was 
extended to include Lake City and Reeds landing, the packet 
steamers plying in those days refusing to stop at those points. 


During the winter of 1855-56 Captain Hancock carried the 
mail between Red Wing and "Winona on the St. Paul-Prairie du 
Chien route. He made the trip in four days, two days going and 
two days coming, receiving four dollars a day, or sixteen dollars 
for each trip. Besides the mails he carried passengers and ex- 
press, the income from which often equalled the receipts for the 
mails in those days. It was not all pleasure traveling even as a 
passenger in those days, the captain states. In the summer time 
the stage was compelled to cross unbridged streams, often swollen 
by heavy rains, and in the winter it was no unusual experience 
for the passengers to be compelled to join in digging the horses 
and sleigh out of a snow drift. 

Later Captain Hancock conducted two of these lines to St. 
Nicholas and Blue Earth City, carrying passengers to and from 
and supplying mails for St. Nicholas, Austin, Mantorville, Wa- 
sioja, Concord, Roscoe, Zumbrota, Pine Island, GeneA r a, Owa- 
tonna, Ashland. Bancroft, Albert Lea and other points. After 
that he operated the line to Le Sueur. Captain Hancock relates 
many interesting anecdotes of his experiences as mail driver in 
those early days. Instead of a pouch for each office the mail 
was all carried in one pouch, and at each place where a stop was 
made the postmaster unlocked the pouch, removed the mail for 
his office, and put in that which he had to forward. The post- 
masters named were not all men of learning — Captain Hancock 
found some who could not read — and so the captain was often 
called on to sort the mail and make the proper distribution. 

Among other duties the mail carriers were required to collect 
the revenue due the government. Captain Hancock distinctly 
remembers his first collection at what was then Goodhue Center 
post-office — the munificent sum of six cents, which was the gov- 
ernment's share for the business done the previous three months. 

During the year 1860 there was a change in the service of 
carrying the mails along the river from the packets to stages. 
Only through mails were after that delivered by boats, which 
supplied Winona. Red Wing, Prescott and Hastings, between St. 
Paul and Winona. At this time, under date of November 15, 
1860, is published the first list of advertised letters. Thirty-five 
pieces are included in the list, more than are advertised weekly 
now. In those days also we find that occasional instruction of 
the public in postal matters was necessary. Under date of De- 
cember 21, 1860, the press contained the following statement: 

Post Office Information. 

"The last semi-official organ of the General Post Office De- 
partment, known as 'Holbrook's Monthly Mail Bag.' contains 
the following post office information for the people: 


"A printed business card or the name of the sender placed 
upon the outside of a circular subjects it to letter postage. 

"Letters can be registered on the payment of the registry fee 
of live cents for each letter, but if lost, congress has made no 
provision for restitution, if the letter contains valuables. 

"The address of letters intended for delivery in cities espe- 
cially, should include, if possible, the occupation, street and num- 
ber of the party addressed. 

"A singular notion seems long to have prevailed that it is no 
violation of laAV to send an unsealed letter outside of the mail. 
This makes no difference whatever. Even if the paper written 
upon is not folded, it is a letter. 

"If the writer of a letter wishes his letter to reach its destina- 
tion without being subject to the rules of distribution requiring it 
to be remailed at a distributing office, he has only to write 'Mail 
Direct,' and the wrapper will not be removed until it reaches 
the office for which the letter is designed. 

"For forging or counterfeiting U. S. or, foreign postage stamps 
not less than two or more than ten years imprisonment. 

"Using a postage stamp after it has once been used, fifty dol- 
lars fine." 

Mr. Hoffman, who was an appointee of President Buchanan, 
retired in 1861, and was succeeded by Mr. Sorin, who was ap- 
pointed by President Lincoln. Early in his administration, con- 
sequent upon the breaking out of the Civil "War, a new series of 
postage stamps was necessary, and we find in this connection 
the following notice published : 


To the Public : 

We are now furnished with the new stamps of the denomina- 
tions of 10, 20 and 30 cents and are directed to exchange for "an 
equivalent amount of the old issue ' ' for six days only. 

M. Sorin, 

Red Wing, Nov. 4, 1861. Postmaster. 

About this time newspaper wrappers were first brought into 
use. They must have attracted general attention, for a notice 
published in the "Republican" at the time states: 

"Mr. Lowater, at the post-office, has shown us a new style of 
wrapper. It is intended for wrapping newspapers, has the stamp 
affixed, and is self-sealing. It is a great convenience and the price 
is hut little more than the stamp itself. Try them." 

The rapid development of the state at this time led to the 
continual changing of mail supplies and in 1862 we find a mate- 
rial change in the published announcement of the Red Wing post- 
office. Under date of May 16, that year, the following appears: 

Post-Office— Office hours on week days from 7 a. in. to 8 p. m. 
On Sundays from 9 to 10. a. m., and from 12:00 m. to 1:00 p. m. 
Up mail closes at 10:30 a. m. Down mail closes a1 12:00 m. 


Red Wing to Mantorville, — Leaves Tuesday, Thursday and Satur- 
day at 8:00 a. m. Arrives Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 
5 :00 p. m. 

Eed Wing to Blue Earth City, — Leaves Monday at 8:00 a. m. 
Arrives Thursday at 6 :00 p. m. 

Eed Wing to Le Sueur, — Leaves Monday at 8 :00 a. in. Arrives 
Saturday at 5 :00 p. m. 

The mail UP will be closed at 10 :30 a. m. The mail DOWN will 
be closed at 12 :00 m. until further notice. 

There were delinquents in matters postal in those days as now. 
Under date of September 19, 1862, there appeared in print the 
following notice : 

Post-Office Notice, — All persons indebted to the post-office for 
box rent or postage are requested to make payment before the 
first of October, if not we shall consider that they do not wish for 
their box or papers any longer. M. Sorin, 

By E. P. Lowater, Deputy. Postmaster. 

A change in the postal laws of decided interest was made 
about this time. It provided : 

"By sections 33 and 34 of this law the rate of postage on all 
transient matter and upon all mailable matter, except letters and 
regular papers and periodicals, is fixed by the weight of the pack- 
age .(excepting circulars). The standard weight is fixed at four 
ounces, and passes at the rate of two cents, an extra rate of two 
cents being added for each additional weight or fraction of it. 
Double this rate (that is, four cents) is charged for books by the 
same standard weight. Three circulars or any less number, in 
one unsealed envelope to one address, pass at the same rate of two 
cents. Seeds, engravings, and the other miscellaneous matter 
mentioned in the third class of section 20 of this law, are also 
charged at the same rate of two cents for each four ounces or 
fraction of it, sent to one address. These postage charges must 
in all cases be prepaid by stamps; no extra charge is made, as 
heretofore, for any business card or address printed on the wrap- 
per. ' ' 

Some considerable changes are noted in a mail schedule ap- 
pearing on November 15, 1863, which reads as follows : 

Post-Office Notice. 

From this time, to the 15th of April, 1864, unless further 
notice is given, the Up Eiver Mail will be closed daily at 6 :00 
p. m.. Mondays excepted; Down River Mails will be closed daily 
at 1 :00 p. m., Fridays excepted. 

The Way mails for St. Paul and Winona leave Red Wing on 
Monday, at 7 :00 a. m. 


The Mantorville Mails leave Tuesdays, Thursdays, aud Satur- 
days, at 8 :00 a. m. 

Cannon River Mails leave Wednesdays and Saturdays at 6 :00 
a. m. 

The Wananiingo Mail leaves on Saturday, at 8 :00 a. m. 

It is very desirable that all letters for the country and way 
mails up and down be deposited in the office the evening previous. 

Office hours from 7 :30 a. m. until 7 :30 p. m. 

Red Wing, Nov. 16, 1863. E. P. Lowater, Dept. P. M. 

In 1864 E. P. Lowater, who had served as deputy under Mr. 
Sorin, succeeded him as postmaster. During his administration, 
on November 1, 1864, the postal money order system of the post- 
office department was established and Red Wing designated as 
one of the 139 offices in the country authorized to transact the 

The first day one order was issued to Amanda Cole, of Rice 
Lake, Wis., for $14.00. remitted to L. A. Godey, Philadelphia, 
Pa. The first order was paid on November 17, 1864. It was 
issued at Chattanooga, Tenn., being purchased by J. C. Hawes, 
then serving in the army, payable to his wife, Lydia B. Hawes, 
and was for the sum of $30.00, the maximum amount of orders at 
that time. The first year 295 orders were issued, the second 411 
and the third 606. During the first ten years 13,100 orders were 
issued. The first year 104 orders were paid. When the money 
order business was established the sum of $300.00 was transferred 
from the general fund with which to do business. With that as 
the basis was established the business which today amounts to 
more than $300,000.00 annually. 

Mr. Lowater served as postmaster until October, 1866. He 
conducted the post-office in a general store which he owned, which 
was at the corner of Main and Bush streets, where the St. James 
Hotel now stands. Prior to his time the office had been located 
on Main street in the block between Bush and Plum, a portion 
of the time on the north side and the remainder of the time on the 
south side of the street. 

A mail schedule, published in July, 1866, again shows some 
important changes. It reads: 

Mantorville, — Arrive Mondav, Wednesday and Friday. Depart 

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. 
Faribault.— Arrive Wednesday, Saturday. Depart Tuesday and 

Northfield— Arrive Tuesday. Friday. Deparl Wednesday and 



Saint Paul. — None up Monday. None down Saturday. 

Eastern. — Xone up Tuesday. None down Saturday. 
"Way Mails. — Xone up Tuesday. Xone down Friday. 

N. B. — The Eastern mail closes at 4:00 p. m. 

E. P. Lowater, Postmaster. 

W. W. DeKay was appointed postmaster to succeed Mr. 
Lowater, but for some reason the appointment was-not confirmed 
and Captain A. "Wright was then named, taking charge of the 
office in May, 1867, after seven months' service by Mr. DeKay. 
The same year the office -was removed to a building on Rush 
street, between Main and Third. 

Captain "Wright served as postmaster four years. He was 
succeeded in 1871 by C. C. Webster. Early in his administration 
the Red Wing post-office became an international money order 
office. But the greal evenl of his term was the establishment of 
mail service by rail on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul rail- 
way, then just completed through Red Wing. On October 13, 
1871, the Red Wing post-office received its first mail by train, and 
the days of the steamboal ;md stage coach supply which had done 
service for more than twenty years were at an end. At the start 
there was one mail a day each way. A train lefl St. Paul at 9:20 
a. m._, arriving a1 Red Wing at noon and reaching Winona, the 
end of the run. al 4 o'clock. Another train left Winona at 10:10 
a. m.. arriving at Red Wing at 2:10 and at St. Paul at 4:55. The 
trip between lied Wing and Si. Paul consumed almost three 
hours, where now it is performed in little more than one hour. 

Captain Wright, whom Mr. Webster succeeded as postmaster 
was one of the first two railway mail clerks. In June, 1872. 
through service to Chicago was established with two trains a 
day each way. which service has been increased to six at the 
present time. The run from Chicago to St. Paul consumed about 
twenty-two hours. Xow it is made in little more than half that 
time — in fact, in ten hours by some of the mail trains. 

In 1875 A. F. Graves became postmaster. Shortly after he 
took charge the post-office was removed to the corner of Third 
and Bush streets, the present location of Bender's drug store, 
where it remained more than twenty years. During the adminis- 
tration of Mr. Graves the office records show the first statement 
of receipts of the Red W 7 ing post-office. For the year ending 
June 30, 1878, they amounted to $7,480.99. As showing the later 
growth of the office no little interest attaches to a statement of 
mails found in the old records. A count kept for seven days 
in Xovember, 1879, showed the dispatch of the following mail 
from the office : 

IIIstoL'Y OF GOODHI E * 0UNT1 7 305 

Letters m plain envelopes 2.171 

Letters in Gov't. Special Request Knvelopes 460 

Letters in private return Request Envelopes. . * 1,688 

Letters in official envelopes 218 

Postal cards 969 

Newspapers ' 3,338 

Books and transient papers 432 

Merchandise 92 


There were cancelled: 718 one cent stamps; 86 two cent; 
3,858 three cent — the three cent letter rate was in force then; 
OS five cent ; 30 six cent and 31 ten cent. During the week the 
office issued 94 money orders and paid 29; registered 19 letters, 
handled 76 in transit and delivered 46. 

At that time, besides 1 he railroad service, the office supplied 

stage lines running to Cannon Falls, Faribault. Zumbrota, Ells- 
worth. Diamond Bluff, Belvidere and Thoten. 

Mr. Graves served as postmaster from 1875 to 1887, when he 
was succeeded by Captain W. W. DeKay. During his time of 
office, in 1889, the city free delivery service was established here, 
at first with four carriers, which number was later reduced to 
three, but has since been increased at different times until now 
seven carriers are employed in the service, making two residence 
and four business deliveries daily. 

In 1891 Fred Seebach, now county treasurer, succeeded Mr. 
DeKay as postmaster, lie also served four years, being succeeded 
in 1895 by George H. Benton. A rather amusing incident during 
Mr. Seebach's term — amusing it appears now, although at the 
time it possessed a serious aspect to many — was an attempt of 
the post-office department in simplifying names to change "Red 
Wing" to "Redwing." The protests which arose because of this 
were so vigorous and energetic that, although the change had 
been ordered and put into effect, the department was finally com- 
pelled to countermand the order. 

Mr. Benton also served four years. Near the close of his term 
the office was removed to the location on Third street near Bush, 
which has been occupied the last ten years. 

In 1899 0. A. Rasmussen succeeded Mr. Benton as postmaster. 

During the fall of that year, on September 5, to be exact, Mr. 
Rasmussen secured the establishment of the first two rural routes 
in this section, among the very first in the state. In 1901 this 
number was increased to five, in 1903 to eight and in 1905 to nine, 
giving the rural district on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi 
river tributary to Red "Wing as complete a system of rural mail 
delivery as can be found anywhere in the county. And as still 
further evidence of the growth and development of the business 


of the office during Mr. Kasmusseu's term of service the number 
of city letter carriers has increased from three to seven, the force 
of office employees from three to eight, nine rural carriers put in 
service, besides two employed in the care of the new federal 
building, making a total force regularly connected with the new 
post-office of twenty-six, besides five substitutes, where there were 
but seven ten years ago. 

For the period for which a record has been kept the postal 
receipts of the Red Wing post-office have been, by fiscal years 
ending June 30, as follows: 1876, $7,480.00; 1877, $7,714.00; 1878, 
$8,538.00; 1879, $9,512.00; 1880, $10,127.00; 1881. $10,415.00; 1882, 
$12,399.00; 1883, $12,640.00; 1884. $10,369.00; 1885. $10,456.00; 
1886, $10,218.00; 1887, $10,407.00; 1888, $10,272.0; 1889, $9,617.00; 
1890, $10,473.00; 1891, $10,293.00; 1892, $10,965.00; 1893, $12,- 
271.00; 1894, $12,068.00; 1895, $12,535.00; 1896, $12,598.00; 1897, 
$12,104.00; 1898, $12,817.00; 1899, $13,336.00; 1900, $14,485.00; 
1901, $15,236.00; 1902, $16,122.00; 1903, $17,367.00; 1904, $18,- 
889.00; 1905, $20,477.00; 1906, $21,552.00; 1907, $23,781.00; 1908, 
$25,530.00; 1909, $29,927.00. 

The money orders issued have increased from 295 for the year 
ending in 1865 to 14,608 for the year ending in 1908, while the 
number paid lias increased from 104 to 18,719. 

The official roster of the office at present is as follows: Post- 
master, C. A. Rasmussen ; assistant postmaster, C. O. Forssell; 
clerks, F. C. Seebach, C. A. K. Johnson, O. N. Rock, E. F. See- 
bach, Edna V. Erickson. Roy X. Howe; city letter carriers, A. C. 
Cook, Jens Love. J. G. Kappel, Edwin DeKay, W. J. Diepenbrock, 
L. Penfold, Alfred Swanson ; rural letter carriers, C*. A. Lidberg, 
M. O. Nelson, A. A. Sclileuter, F. J. Schenach, J. H. Drew, P. J. 
Buran, F. AY. Boatman, O. B. Arntson, Henry Nelson; substitute 
city carrier, O. J. Serviek; substitute rural carriers, N. W. Nel- 
son, G. C. Pirius, 0. Reitman; janitor, W. J. Back. 

The new post-office building, which is located at the northwest 
corner of Third street and West avenue, on a plot of ground 142 
feet on Broadway and 120 feet on Third street, has a ground area 
of 82 feet on West avenue and 46y2 feet on Third street. It 
stands 32 feet in height from the ground and is surmounted by a 
flag staff extending 20 feet above the roof. The front steps, 
seven in number, of granite, have a length at the bottom of 48 
feet. Surmounting the steps are two cast-iron lamp standards 
with translucent opalescent glass globes. 

The foundation is of brick on a concrete footing. The base- 
ment walls, 32 inches thick, are of Chaska brick, surmounted by 
St. Cloud granite above the grade lines. 

The main structure is faced with terra-cotta and light gray 


brick, harmonious in color. The ornamentation is quite elabo- 
rate The frame work is of steel. The roof is tin. 

The basement story, which is 10 feet 8 inches high, contains: 
a store room, 13 by 15 feet ; a fuel room, 15 by 16 feet; a swing 
room f<»r the use of the carriers between trips, 14 by 18 feet; a 
toilet room, 13 by 11 feet, besides the general basement, in which 
is located the heating plant. The floor is cement, and the ceiling, 
which forms the floor of the main story, is iron frame work and 
reinforced concrete. The steps leading to the basement story 
are all either stone or concrete, making that story wholly fire- 

The main floor has a height of 15 feet 4 inches in the work 
room and departments and 20 feet in the main lobby. The main 
lobby, 12 feet wide, extends along the West avenue side a dis- 
tance of 63 feet, with a wing near the south end extending back 
12 feet. 

At the north end of the lobby are the money order and regis- 
try departments combined, 15 by 19 feet in size, leading off from 
which is a vault of reinforced concrete surmounted by a storage 
vault of the same material. The postmaster's room is at the 
southwest corner of the building, 13 by 14% feet in size, leading 
off from the lobby wing. In this wing are also stairways to the 
basement and attic. At the northwest corner of the building is 
the mailing vestibule, 13 by 14 feet, for the reception and dis- 
patch of mail. The remainder of the space is taken up with the 
main work room, 30 by 47 feet. A vault for stamp supplies is 
located here and there is also a stairway to the basement. Pass- 
ing directly through the work room, suspended from the ceiling, 
is the look-out from which can be watched the work of employees, 
unbeknown to them. Look-outs also extend into the money order 
and registry sections, the mailing vestibule and the basement. 

The public lobby has a revolving door entrance, terrazzo floor, 
marble border and wainscote. The general delivery and stamp 
windows are directly in front of the main entrance, the carrier 
windows to the right and the post-office boxes to the left. 

The money order and registry department has wood floor and 
cove cornice, as has also the main work room and mailing lobby. 
The postmaster's room has wood floor, base, chair rail, picture 
moulding and plaster cornice. 

A granite curb faces the walk on Third street and West ave- 
nue, a concrete gutter extends along the west side and a concrete 
curb on the north side. The sidewalk is granolithic. On West 
avenue it is 14 feet wide and on Third street 12 feet wide. At 
the inside border is a cement coping 3 inches high. A vitrified 
orick driveway, 12 feet wide, with granolithic coping, leads from 
Third street across the lot to the north side of the building. On 


the two sides and at the rear of the building are grass plots, also 
a grass boulevard on Third street. 

The building is essentially one of Red "Wing construction. 
Besides being contracted by W. J. Longcor, the plumbing and 
heating work was done by J. H. Doyle and the electrical work by 
Foster Bros. 

From the commencement of work until June, 1909, the gov- 
ernment was represented at the work by Henry Brack as super- 
intendent of construction. Mr. Brack was then transferred to 
Michigan and the work was completed under the superintendence 
of John H. Holmes, who at the same time superintended the erec- 
tion of the tower on the post-office at St. Paul. 


Cannon Falls. — The post-office at Cannon Falls was established 
in 1854 with James MeGinnis as postmaster. Its first mail supply 
was on the old Dubuque & St. Paul stage route, for which later 
on service by stage from Bed "Wing was substituted. This con- 
tinued until early in the eighties, when the building of the Wis- 
consin, Minnesota & Pacific line enabled the establishment of 
railroad service. 

Succeeding Mr. MeGinnis as postmaster came George McKin- 
zie; then in order Eli Ellsworth, George L. Baker, A. J. Phelps, 
Joseph E. Chapman, F. D. Barlow, W. H. Scofield, L. L. Lewis. 
The present postmaster is P. A. Peterson, who has served since 
October 1, 1889. 

The income of the office for 1908 was $5,525.00. During that 
year there were issued 4,255 domestic and 50 international money 
orders and 1,164 domestic and 7 international were paid. There 
were dispatched 802 registers and delivered 942. There are eight 
rural routes connected with the office, and four mails are re- 
ceived and dispatched daily. The office served 5,000 patrons. 
The present force of the office is: Postmaster, P. A. Peterson; 
assistant, Ella M. Johnson; clerk, H. "Wolander; rural carriers, 
John A. Anderson, August M. Johnston ; Oscar E. Olson, Harry 
F. Hine, John A. Lundberg, George F. Miller, John A. Johnson 
and Edwin Larson. Originally the name of this office was Cannon 
River Falls, and it so continued up to October, 1889, when a 
change was made to Cannon Falls. 

Dennison. — This post-office, which is located on the western 
line of the county, on the line of the Chicago Great "Western 
Railway, was established in 1885, with G. A. Bonhus as post- 
master. He was succeeded by K. A. Bonhus, who in turn gave 
way to A. K. Lockrem. Jens "Walen succeeded him, then his 
brother, John "Walen. then I. O. Flaten, who was succeeded by 


W. W. Sunday, the present incumbent. There are two rural 
routes connected with the office. 

Eggleston.— This office, on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
Railway, about eight miles west of Red Wing; was established in 
the seventies. It serves a small community principally on Prairie 
Island, for whose greater convenience one rural route is operated 
from the office. M. T. Nilan is the postmaster. 

Frontenac. — This is one of the oldest post-offices in the county, 
being established about 1855. For a long time it received its mail 
supply from Red Wing by stage, this continuing until early in 
the seventies, when the building of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Paul Railway enabled a rail supply. There is one rural route 
connected with the office H. Lorentzen served as postmaster for 
thirty-six years, and H. Scherf, who succeeded him and who still 
holds the place, has served sixteen years. 

Goodhue. — The office of Goodhue Center, which later became 
Goodhue, was established in 1858 on what is known as the Hadler 
farm, at the present time about two miles east of Goodhue on 
the old Zumbrota and Red W T ing road. Peter Esterly, who was 
the first postmaster, continued in office until 1864. At this time 
the office was transferred to the Gleason place, two miles north 
of the Esterly place, and Mrs. Rebecca Gleason was made the 
postmistress. She continued in office until 1880, when. Frank 
Durig was appointed, moving the office back to the Esterly farm, 
where he held it until 1887. At that time George Uslar was ap- 
pointed, holding the office until 1890, the same farm being the 
location of the office. He moved the office from the old place of 
Goodhue Center* to the village of Goodhue during 1888. 

Soon after George Uslar moved the office to Goodhue, Frank 
Neubel was made his successor, Neubel being followed by W. C. 
Pilling, who likewise had the office a short time or until 1894. 
K. L. Anderson was appointed at this time, keeping the office until 
1900, when D. C. Pierce was appointed, being in the office at the 
present time. The post-offices of Belle Chester, Ryan, Claybank 
and White Willow have been discontinued into this office. Rural 
delivery from this office was established in 1901 with two carriers. 
Later the number of routes was increased to six. The present 
carriers are : R. R. No. 1, Claire M. Acquard ; R. R. No. 2, Frank 
P. Ahern ; R, R. No. 3, Wesley Kolbe ; R. R. No. 4, Charles Han- 
son; R. R. No. 5, Ebba I. O'Reilly; R. R. No. 6, Mary Heaney. 

This post-office was raised to the third class on October 1, 

Kenyon. — The post-office at, Kenyon was established in 1856, 
with James Crowley as postmaster. For nearly thirty years it 
received its mail supply by stage from Red Wing and from Fari- 


bault, this arrangement continuing until the building of the Chi- 
cago Great "Western Railway. 

Succeeding Mr. Crowley as postmaster came Mr. Clapp, then 
Mr. Brill, Dr. Brown, E. R, Marshall, W. Stears, Ed. Slee and Dr. 
Graves. Lars Haaven served from 1877 to 1881, C. L. Brusletten 
from 1881 to 1884, T. R. Bullis from 1884 to 1889, then Mr. Brus- 
letten again from 1889 to 1893. A. M. McLaughlin was then ap- 
pointed, serving until 1899. During his term the office was raised 
to the third class. In 1899 Anders Glimme was appointed post- 
master. He still holds the position. 

The office became an international money order office in 1900. 
Rural service was started from the office in 1902, and at present 
there are six routes. The following offices have been discontinued 
into Kenyon : Norway, Aspelund, Spring Creek, Ayr, Moland, 

Pine Island. — The post-office at Pine Island was established in 
1856, with John Chance as postmaster. He served two years. 
The first mail supply was by the Burbank stage line between 
Dubuque and St. Paul. When this supply was discontinued the 
office was put on the Red Wing and Mantorville star route, from 
which it received service until 1878, when the building of the 
Chicago & Northwestern branch from Rochester to Zumbrota 
enabled the establishing of railway mail service. The office is 
now supplied by the Chicago & Great Western Railway, receiving 
four mails daily. The postmasters following Mr. Chance and their 
years of service arc: -J. A. Tarbox, 1858 to 1861; Thomas Mc- 
Mannis and C. R. White. 1861 to 1865; S. Worthing, 
1865 to 1868; C. R. White, 1868 to 1876; F. HagleY, 1876 to 1880; 
Henry Tome. July 1, 1880, to July 1, 1886; Charles Parker, July 
1. 1886, to July 1, 1889; Henry Tome, July 1, 1889, to July 1, 
1893; W. II. Hamlin. July 1, 1893, to July 1, 1897; Henry Tome, 
July 1, 1897, to July 1, 1906; George H. Tome, July 1, 1906, to 

The domestic money order division was established July 1, 
1879, and the international January 1, 1903. The office has made 
a rapid increase in business of late years. For the year ending 
December 31, 1890, the receipts were $894.86; December 31, 1895, 
$1,315.25 ; December 31, 1905, $2,236.09 ; December 31, 1908, $2,- 
595.30. Last year the office issued 2,986 domestic money orders. 
There are four rural routes connected with the office, two estab- 
lished in March, ]903. and two in December, 1904. The present 
rural carriers are : R. R. No. 1, B. T. Vessey ; R. R. No. 2. Willard 
H. Marsh; R. R. No. 3, John E. Clark, and R. R. No. 4. Ambrose 
V. Sterling. 

Skyberg. — This office is one on the line of the Chicago Great 


Western Railway, about six miles south of Kenyon. One rural 
route starts therefrom. Francis J. White is the postmaster. 

Stanton. — This post-office, located on the Chicago Great West- 
ern Railway, dates from early in the sixties, previous to the build- 
ing of the railway having received and dispatched mail by stage. 
One rural route is connected with the office. Henry W. Nelson is 
the present postmaster. 

Vasa. — This post-office also dates from the fifties. It is today 
the only post-office in Goodhue county not located on a railroad^ 
receiving its mail from the Welch station on the Chicago Great 
Western Railway. The office serves the hamlet Vasa and a limited 
territory around there. N. B. Ofelt is the present postmaster. 

Wanamingo. — The post-office at Wanamingo is among the old- 
est in the county. It was established in the fifties, with James 
Brown as postmaster. Martin Halvorson served as postmaster 
there for nearly thirty years, and after him his son, Henry M. 
Halvorson, served eleven years. Herman 0. Naeseth is the pres- 
ent postmaster. The mail supply of the office for more than forty 
years was by stage ; at present the supply and dispatch is by rail- 
way service. 

Welch. — This office is located on the Northfield branch of the 
Milwaukee road, about twelve miles west of Red Wing. Samuel 
Nelson is the postmaster. 

Zumbrota. — The post-office at Zumbrota was established late 
in the fifties, with Thomas P. Kellett as postmaster and an author- 
ization of one mail a week each way by stage from Red Wing. 
This service subsequently increased to three times a week and 
still later to a daily service, continued until 1878, when the build- 
ing of a railroad into the village from Rochester enabled the es- 
tablishment of a railroad supply. 

For nearly twenty years, or until 1875, the office remained 
in the general store of Mr. Kellett, under his charge. Henry 
Blanchard was then appointed postmaster and the office removed 
to his shoe store. Some home-made fixtures, very crude in a way, 
were installed, but they did very good service. At that time post- 
offices had been established at Minneola, Roscoe, Wanamingo and 
Hader, and as the population was not large the mail was very 
light at all the points. 

Mr. Blanchard retained the office until 1887, when C. B. An- 
derson was appointed. He installed new fixtures and moved into 
quarters by himself. In 1891 Ira D. Warren succeeded to the 
office. During his term it became third class. In 1895 Mr. An- 
derson was again appointed postmaster. During this term the 
office again dropped to the fourth class. In US99 B. C. Grover 
was appointed postmaster and held the office until 1908. During 



his term the office again became third class, six rural routes were 
established and the service generally improved. 

In 1908 S. B. Scott succeeded to the office and still holds it. 
Under his management many new improvements have been made 
and the service generally rendered more efficient. For the vear 
1908 the receipts were $5,400, the largest in the history of the 

The office has become an important junction point, receiving 
and dispatching mails on the Chicago Great Western, C, M. & 
St. P. and Chicago & Northwestern Railways. 

■ - 


Aspelund. — This post-office, which was located in AYananiingo, 
was established early in the sixties and conducted about thirty 
years, being discontinued in consequence of the establishment of 
rural mail delivery. 

Ayr. — This office was located in Cherry Grove. It was estab- 
lished in the sixties and served its patrons for about thirty years 

Belvidere Mills. — This office, located in Belvidere, was one of 
the earliest offices in the country. It was established about 1855, 
with N. B. Gaylord as postmaster. He served the public in that 
capacity for more than forty years. The office was discontinued 
about five years ago. 

Burley.— This office, which was located in Featherstone town- 
ship, had a very short career. "When established it supplied a 
considerable territory, but rural delivery being introduced soon 
afterwards, its usefulness was early at an end. 

Burr Oak. — This office was located in Belle Creek township, 
being established in 1854. It was on the line of the old St. Paul 
and Dubuque stage route and when that was discontinued about 
two years later, the supply being cut off, the office was discon- 
tinued. Later it was re-established as Belle Creek post-office in 
the southern part of the town, which office was also discontinued 
and its place supplied by Ryan in the east part of the town, which 
served its neighborhood up to a few years ago. 

Eidsvold. — This was an office in Holden township, established 
about 1875. It had a life of about twenty years. 

Fairpoint. — This office, in Cherry Grove township, was estab- 
lished in 1858 and discontinued in 1861, and later, being re-estab- 
lished, did service for a little more than thirty years, rural deliv- 
ery also supplanting it. 

Forest Mills. — This was a small office in Zumbrota township, a 
few miles east of Zumbrota. It had a career of about fifteen 

PU&UC i '■■ 

ABTtS.. i 
TILrw • * 


C. A. Rasmussen 


Hader. — This office, in Wananiingo, was among those estab- 
lished early in the sixties. It served the public for about forty 

Hay Creek. — This office, which was located in Featherstone on 
the line of Hay Creek, was established in the sixties and served 
the community in which it was located about forty years. 

Holden. — This office, in Holden township, was established in 
1863. . It had a career of nearly forty years, rural delivery sup- 
planting it. 

Nansen. — This office, also in Holden, had a short eareer. When 
established it served a considerable territory, but rural delivery 
coming in cut off its patronage and it was discontinued. 

Poplar Grove. — This was one of the early offices located in 
Pine Island township on the line of one of the old stage routes. 
It had a short career. 

Sogn. — This office, on the east line of Warsaw, gave service 
for about fifteen years during the eighties and nineties. 

Spring Creek. — This office, in Cherry Grove township, was 
established in 1861. It served its community about forty years. 

Sunapee. — This was an office in Roscoe township, established 
in 1858. Later the name was changed to Roscoe and under that 
name it gave service to a considerable territory for nearly forty 

Thoten. — This office, which was located in Belvidere, was a 
small one. For more than twenty years, from the sixties to the 
eighties, it furnished service to a limited area. 

Wacouta. — This office, which was established in 1855, was one 
of the first in the county. For a time it developed into consider- 
able proportions, a few years after it had been established paying 
$300.00 a year. Red Wing forging ahead, however, the town 
gradually fell away and with that the post-office business de- 
creased to a very small item. The office continued to exist until 
1905, however, when it was discontinued in consequence of rural 

Wangs.— This office was located in W T arsaw. Its career was 
not long and its cleritage never considerable. 

Wastedo. — This office was located in Leon township. It had 
a career of more than thirty years and at one time served a large 

White Rock.— This office was located in Vasa. Like Wastedo 
it served the community in which it was established for more than 
thirty years, rural delivery being responsible for its discontinu- 

Christian A. Rasmussen was one of the moving spirits in that 
revival of activity in Red Wing which has made this city famous 
throughout the United States. He was born in the city of Copen- 


hagen, Denmark, October 30, 1868, son of Christian and Rasmina 
Rasmussen, natives of that country. At the age of four years he 
was brought to Minnesota by his parents and received his educa- 
tion in the public schools of Red Wing, graduating in 1885. After 
graduation he entered the employ of the Red Wing Printing 
Company, October 12, 1885, when the "Daily Republican" was 
started. Having a particular aptitude for this work he rose to the 
position of managing editor, a situation in which he remained 
until April 1, 1899. During this time the paper grew in impor- 
tance and circulation and had a powerful influence in shaping 
the destinies of the city and county. April 1, 1899, Mr. Ras- 
mussen laid down the. editorial pen to take up the duties of post- 
master at Red Wing. Previous to this he was chairman of the 
Republic-fin county committee in 1896 and 1898, and in the latter 
year ably performed the duties of secretary to the Republican 
state central committee. He has also served on the school board. 
Mr. Rasmussen 's term as postmaster has been a long record of 
faithful public service, his efforts having been crowned with an 
increased efficiency on the part of the local postal service, and 
also with a large increase in business. Some years ago he became 
interested in the work of the State Postmasters' Association of 
Minnesota. North Dakota and South Dakota, and at the present 
time is serving this association as secretary. For two years he 
acted in a similar capacity for the Red Wing Commercial Club, 
and his business interests include the Red Wing Printing Com- 
pany, the First National Bank, the Red Wing Advertising Com- 
pany and the Red Wing Telephone Company. Mr. Rasmussen 's 
postal history, which appears in this work, not only shows the 
increase in the volume of business and efficiency of service during 
his administration, but also demonstrates his ability as a writer 
and painstaking collector of exact data and statistical facts. 
April 30, 1901, Mr. Rasmussen was married to Lesa M. Johnson, 
by whom he has one daughter, Charlotte Katherine. 



His Proud Achievements — His Solemn Oath — His Ethics — The 
True Physician — His Reward — His Delicate Relation to the 
Human Family — His Inventions and Discoveries Free Gifts — 
The Pioneer Doctor — His Character — His Services — His Lim- 
itations — The March of Medicine — Biographies — A Roll of 
Honor — The Goodhue County Medical Society — The Twen- 
tieth Century — Preventive Medicine — The Physician as an 
Educator.— By George C. Wellner, M. D. 

"Men most nearly resemble the gods when 
They afford health to their fellow men." 

In an age when, in the combat of man against man, heroes 
are worshipped according to the number they slay in battle, it is 
inspiring and elevating to be permitted to pay tribute to the men 
who won glory in fighting disease and through whose devotion 
and skill thousands of useful lives have been saved and been made 

"For every man slain by Caesar. Napoleon and Grant in all 
their bloody campaigns, Jenner, Pasteur and Lister have saved 
alive a thousand." The first anaesthetic has done more for the 
real happiness of mankind than all the philosophers from Socrates 
to Mills. Society laurels the soldier and the philosopher and 
practically ignores the physician. Few remember his labors, for 
what Sir Thomas Browne said three hundred years ago is surely 
true : "The iniquity of oblivion blindly scattereth her poppy and 
deals with the memory of men without distinction to merit to 

"Medicine is the most cosmopolitan of the three great 
^learned' professions. Medicine never built a prison or lit a 
fagot, never incited men to battle or crucified anyone. Saint and 
sinner, white and black, rich and poor, are equal and alike when 
they cross the sacred portals of the temple of .Esculapius." No 
other secular profession has ever reached such a consciousness of 
duties which it corporately owes to the rest of the world. What 



are the principles which a profession, more profuse in its disinter- 
ested charities than any other profession in the world has estab- 
lished for its guidance? 

It was about 2,300 years ago that the practicers of the art of 
healing began to take an oath emphasizing the responsibilities 
which the nobility and holiness of the art imposed upon them. 
Hippocrates, forever to be revered, gave the oath his name. When 
a Greek physician took the Hippocratic oath and a graduate of 
the modern medical school takes it, the act is one not only of 
obligation for himself, but of recognition of a great benefactor of 
mankind. The Hippocratic oath assumes that simply because a 
man has learned the art of restoring the sick to health he has 
passed into a realm in which the rules of personal selfishness are 
immediately abridged, if not expunged, and recognized in a sys- 
tem of principles and rules governing all licensed physicians, and 
enforced and respected by high-toned and cultured gentlemen — a 
standard of professional honor so sacred and inviolate that no 
graduate or regular practitioner will ever presume or dare to 
violate it. 

Robert Louis Stevenson, seeing the life of the medical man 
only from without, was not far wrong when he spoke of the 
modern scientific medical man as probably the noblest figure of 
the age. The noble and exalted character of the ancient pro- 
fession of medicine is surpassed by no sister science in the mag- 
nificence of its gifts. Reflecting upon its purity, beneficence and 
grandeur it must be accorded to be the noblest of professions. 
Though the noblest of professions it is the meanest of trades. 
Unless the physician will live a life of purity, of virtue, of honor 
and of honesty, he should seek a livelihood elsewhere, and "In- 
sult not the gods by striving through base methods and ignoble 
ambitions in resembling them." 

The true physician will make his profession no trade, but will 
administer Ids duties with the love of man in his heart and the 
glory of God in his soul, his aim will be : To be accurate in 
diagnosis and painstaking in prescribing, to allow no prejudice 
nor theory to interfere with the relief of human suffering and 
the saving of human life ; to lay under contribution every source 
of information, be it humble or exalted, that can be made useful 
in the cure of disease ; to be kind to the poor, sympathetic with 
the sick, ethical toward medical colleagues and courteous toward 
all men ; to regard his calling as that of one anointed to holy 
office, firmly convinced that no nobler work can be given to man, 
and to go forth to his labor with love for humanity, inspired witli 
a reverent assurance that for this cause came he into the world. 

The reward of such a man. says Prof. T. Gaillard Thomas, 
"Comes from the hand of no emperor; his glory from the appre- 


ciation of no applauding multitude; his renown from the pen of 
no fulsome historian. For him the victor's crown comes from 
the hand of the immortal God. He that has done the greatest 
good for his fellow man, has, in the doing of it, won the greatest 
reward in earth's possession, even though no mortal man know 
of the deed but him !" 

The true physician is he who has a proper conception and 
estimation of the real character of his profession; whose intel- 
lectual and moral fitness give weight, standing and character in 
the consideration and estimation of society and the public at 
large. His privileges and powers for good or for evil are great; 
in fact no other profession, calling or vocation in this life 
occupies such a delicate relation to the human family. 

There is a tremendous developing and educating power in 
medical work. The medical man is almost the only member of 
the community who does not make money out of his important 
discoveries. It is a point of honor with him to allow the whole 
world to profit by his researches when he finds a new remedy for 
disease. The greatest and best medical and surgical discoveries 
and inventions have been free gifts to suffering humanity the 
moment their value was demonstrated. The reward of the physi- 
cian is in the benefit which the sick and helpless receive, and in 
the gratitude, which should not be stinted, of the community at 
large. Medical men are not angels ; they are in fact very human 
creatures with hard work to do, and often many mouths to feed ; 
but there is a strain of benevolence in all their work. From the 
beginning they are taught a doctrine of helpfulness to others, and 
are made to think that their lifework should not be one in which 
every service must receive its pecuniary reward. The physician 
is a host in himself, a natural leader among his fellowmen, a cen- 
ter of influence for the most practical good, an efficient helper in 
times of direst need, a trusted and honest citizen. What more 
can any prophet ask than honor in his own country and a daily 
welcome among his own friends ! 

It does not take long for the waves of oblivion to close over 
those who have taken a most prominent and active part in the 
affairs of the day. The life of the pioneer doctor is no exception 
to this law, for, as Dr. John Browne tells us, "It is the lot of the 
successful medical practitioner to be invaluable when alive, and 
to be forgotten soon after he is dead, and this is not altogether 
or chiefly from any special ingratitude or injustice on the part of 
mankind, but from the very nature of the case." However, the 
pioneer physician still lives in the memory of many of us, though 
he is now more rare as an individual than in the years gone by, 
and is gradually passing out of existence. The history, written 
and unwritten, of the pioneer physician of Goodhue county, as 


elsewhere, presents him to view as working out the destiny of the 
wilderness, hand in hand with the other forces of civilization for 
the common good. He was an integral part of the primitive 
social fabric. As such he shared the manners, the customs, the 
aims, and the ambitions of his companions, and he. with them, 
was controlled by the forces which determine the common state 
and the common destiny. The chief concerns of himself and com- 
panions were material — engaged with the serious problem of 
existence. The struggle to survive was, at its best, a competition 
with nature. Hard winters and poor roads were the chief impedi- 
ments. Only rough outlines remain of the heroic and adventurous 
side of the pioneer physician's long, active and honored life. The 
imagination cannot, unaided by the facts, picture the primitive 
conditions with which he had to contend. Long and dreary rides, 
by day and night, in summer's beat and winter's cold, through 
snow, and mud. and rain, was his common lot. He trusted him- 
self to. the mercy of the elements, crossed unbridged streams, 
made his way through uncut forests, and traveled the roadless 
wilderness. He spent one-fifth of his life in his conveyance, and 
in some cases traveled as many as two hundred thousand miles in 
the same. 

Dr. Oliver. Wendell Holmes has graphically described the old 
doctor's daily routine: "Half a dollar a visit — drive, drive, drive, 
all day; get up in the night and harness your own horse — drive 
again ten miles in a snowstorm ; shake powders out of a vial — 
drive back again, if you don't happen to be stuck in a drift; no 
home, no peace, no continuous meals, no unbroken sleep, no 
Sunday, no holiday, no social intercourse, but eternal jog, jog, jog 
in a sulky." 

He always responded to the call of the poor, and gave freely 
his services to those who could not pay without hardship. Who 
can narrate the past events in the life of such a man? His deeds 
were ''written upon the. tablets of loving and grateful hearts, and 
the hearts are now dust. The long and exhausting rides through 
storm, or mud, or snow ; the exposure to contagions ; the patient 
vigils by the bedside of pain; the kindly deeds of charity; the 
reassuring messages to the despondent ; the shielding of the inno- 
cent; the guarding of secrets; the numberless self-abnegations 
that cannot be tabulated, and are soon forgotten, like the roses 
of yesterday." Wealth did not flow into the old practitioner's 
coffers; in fact, he needed no coffers. He was a poor collector, 
and with all his efforts he obtained but little, and never what 
was his due. As an offset to the generally acknowledged abili- 
ties of the old doctor in every other line of his work, it must also 
be admitted that he was greatly deficient in business tact. Often 


content with the sentiment of apparent appreciation of services 
rendered to his patrons, of lives saved, of sufferings assuaged, 
and of health restored, he was too easily satisfied with the 
reflection that he had a very noble profession, but a very poor 

Though poor in purse, he was rich in heart, in head, and in 
public esteem. He made at least a very measurable success of 
life, if success consists in being of some small use to the com- 
munity or country in which one lives; if it consists in having an 
intelligent, sympathetic outlook for human needs; if it is success 
to love one's work ; if it is success to have friends and be a friend, 
then the old doctor has made a success of life. 

He was a lonely worker, and relied largely on his own unaided 
observation for his knowledge. Isolated by the conditions of his 
life, he did not know the educating influences of society work. 
He was a busy man. with little leisure for the indulgence of lit- 
erary or other tastes. He possessed, however, what no books or 
laboratories can furnish, and that is : a capacity for work, willing- 
ness to be helpful, broad sympathies, honesty, and a great deal of 
common sense. His greatest fame was the fealty of a few friends; 
his recompense a final peace at life's twilight hour. He was a 
hardworking man, beloved and revered by all. He was discreet 
and silent, and held his counsel when he entered the sick-room. 
In every family he was indispensable, important, and oftentimes 
a dignified personage. He was the adviser of the family in mat- 
ters not always purely medical. As time passed, the circle of his 
friends enlarged, his brain expanded, and his heart steadily grew 
mellower. Could all the pleasant, touching, heroic incidents be 
told in connection with the old doctor, it would be a revelation 
to the young physician of today; but he can never know the 
admiration and love in which the old doctor was held. : 'How 
like an angel light was his coming in the stormy midnight to the 
lonely cabin miles away from the nearest neighbor. Earnest, 
cheery, confident, his presence lighted the burden, took away the 
responsibility, dispelled the gloom. The old doctor, with his two- 
wheeled gig and saddle bags, his setons, crude herbs, and vene- 
sections, resourceful, brave and true; busy, blunt, and honest, 
loyally doing his best — who was physician, surgeon, obstetrician, 
oculist, aurist, guide, philosopher and friend — is sleeping under 
the oaks on the prairies he loved so well." 

"We shall ne'er see his like again, 
Not a better man was found, 
By the Crier on his round. 

Through the town." 


The early history of the pioneer physician is naturally a story 
of feeble resources. His professional limitations were, therefore, 
necessarily great. To enable us to understand these limitations 
we must take a retrospective glance at the condition of medicine 
sixty years ago. Imagine, if you can. the forlorn condition of the 
doctor without our present means of physical diagnosis, without 
the clinical thermometer, the various specula, the hypodermatic 
syringe, the ophthalmoscope, the otoscope, the rhinoscope, the 
aspirator, and many other similar instruments; without the aid 
of hematology, of anaesthetics, of antisepsis, of the modern micro- 
scope, without our laboratories and experiments, our chemistry, 
our bacteriology, our Eoentgen .rays, our experimental pharma- 
cology, and our antitoxins — without anything except his eyes, his 
ears, his fingers, his native vigor and resourcefulness; then we 
can appreciate the professional limitations of our fathers, appre- 
ciate no less the triumphal march of medicine during a single 
lifetime. It requires no prophet's power to foretell the fact that 
the science of medicine stands at this hour upon the threshold of 
an era which will belittle all the past. In this most wonderful era 
of the world's history, this magic age, the science of medicine is 
rapidly being elevated into the position of one of the bulwarks of 
society and one of the mainstays of civilization. It made possible 
the building of the Panama canal, made Havana a clean city, and 
diminished the possibility of introducing yellow fever among us. 
It has kept cholera in cheek, pointed out the danger of bubonic 
plague through the rat-infested districts of San Francisco, and it 
now urges that the government shall maintain sentinels to guard 
the Gulf coast from yellow fever, the Mississippi from cholera, the 
whole United States from bubonic plague. It also discovered the 
stegomyia as a yellow-fever carrier, and the rat and ground 
squirrel as plague distributors. 

Though none of the immortal discoveries or inventions were 
made in Goodhue county, all of them have been applied and util- 
ized for the benefit of the people in this vicinity. The practice of 
medicine has had some able representatives in this county, many 
of whom have gained distinction and an honorable place among 
their fellows. Some of them have been sought out for public 
service and broader fields of usefulness, while others have led a 
quieter but no less honorable existence in the sphere of their 
choice, many being laid to rest after lives of sacrifice to the 
community amidst general regret and deep sorrow. 

The medical history of this county begins with the arrival of 
Dr. W. W. Sweney, in 1852. He was born in Pennsylvania in 
1818. After receiving an academic and professional education, 
he was graduated at Rush Medical College in 1851. He was presi- 
dent of the Goodhue County Medical Society in 1872. and of the 


Slate Medical Society in 1873, author of several prize essays, and 
member of the territorial legislature. Dr. Sweney was a practi- 
tioner of wide repute, and possessed the confidence of the people 
in a rare degree. He was endeared to all by his remarkable integ- 
rity, gentleness, sterling worth, and high professional morality. 
The constant influence of his example, personal and professional, 
has alike honored him and the calling to which he was chosen. 
Dr. Sweney had a long and honorable career. The writer knew 
him as one of the finest specimens of the kind-hearted, ever-help- 
ful, modest medical gentlemen of his generation. He was laid to 
rest amid general regret and deep sorrow in August, 1882. 

Another of the earliest physicians was Dr. John Kelly, born in 
New York, in 1801. He crossed the plains in 1849, and came to 
Goodhue county in 1853, settling in Florence. He was chairman 
of the first board of township supervisors and member of the 
board of county supervisors. In 1856, Dr. J. E. Tebbetts settled 
in the village of Cannon Falls. He was of Maine birth, and a 
fine type of the old doctor. He grew gray in the pioneer service, 
and passed away in 1877. Dr. Charles Hill came to this county in 
1857, settling in Roscoe that year, and in Pine Island in 1859. He 
was born in Illinois in 1826, and was graduated at Rush Medical 
College in 1857. In 1869 he was elected to the state senate. At 
the reorganization of the Goodhue County Medical Society, in 
1902, he was chosen president. Dr. Hill is a gentleman of the 
old school. He is the Nestor of the profession in the county. 
Him we should be tempted to call venerable if he had not suc- 
ceeded in remaining young through the aid of his eternally youth- 
ful enthusiasm. In the same year a valuable addition to the pro- 
fession in Red Wing was made in the arrival of Dr. A. B. Hawley, 
a native of New York, born in 1833. Dr. Hawley was of attractive 
personality. He was a man of the most genial nature, fine phy- 
sique, tall, active, keen-eyed and perfectly unostentatious; an 
able practitioner, and very popular. He was a leading citizen, 
and one of the prime movers in the building of Christ Church. 
He passed away September 20, 1878. Other physicians who came 
in ante-bellum days were Drs. C. II. Connely. William Brown and 
F. F. Hoyt. Dr. Brown was commissioned as surgeon in the Civil 
War. Dr. Hoyt had the honor of being elected a member of the 
first city council. Some time in the fifties, Dr. Ole Oleson settled 
in or near Leon. His name appears in the records of the period 
as a judge of elections. In 1862, Dr. E. S. Park established him- 
self in Red Wing. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1811. Alto- 
gether his practice covered forty years of earnest, active work. 
He served the county many years as coroner. His death occurred 
February 12. 1888. It is to be regretted that so little is recorded 
of the pioneer physician and his stirring and hazardous lot. At 


the conclusion of the war Red Wing was chosen as a field by 
Dr. Charles N. Hewitt, a native of Vermont, born in 1885. Dr. 
Hewitt has had a long and honorable career. He has held various 
high offices. In the medical history of the county lie takes a high 
place a's physician and surgeon. As sanitarian, it is difficult ade- 
quately to estimate his great services to the commonwealth of 
Minnesota. He has left the imprint of his work upon the whole 
subject of public health. In 1865 Dr. ( '.■ Uveem. born in Norway 
in 1835, settled near Bader, where he continued to practice with 
success for many years. In the following year Dr. Christian J. 
Gronvold settled in Norway, township of Wanamingo. He was 
born in Norway in 1833. and died in the nineties. Dr. (ironvold 
was appointed a member of the stale board of health in 187i>. 
He was a man of much natural ability, one of the foremost 
authorities on leprosy, and somewhat of an original. Some time 
in the sixties Dr. A. \Y. M. Archarius endeavored to establish 
himself' in Red Wing. Unfortunately for the community, he did not 

succeed. He was a t a 1 1 . s| >a l'e. extremely dignified and learned gen- 
tleman. Be complained to the writer, who made his acquaintance 
in Chicago in 1875, of his inability to make a living here, and of 
the success of the advertising quacks. He returned to Sweden, 
where the king gave him office commensurate with his abilities. 
The first homeopathic phyiscian to take up his residence in Red 
Wing was Dr. C. <i. Bigbee, horn in New York, in 183"). lie came 
in the sixties, and remained about ten years. He was a captain in 
the Union army, made choice of the medical profession, and was 
a successful practitioner. After an honorable Civil War record, 
0. H. Hall, born in Erie county. New York, in 1842, studied medi- 
cine, was graduated a1 the Buffalo University, and settled in 
Zumbrota in 1868. He is a charter member of the Goodhue 
County Medical Society, and a successful physician. In 1869, Dr. 
Bruno Jaehnig established himself in Red Wing. He was 'born 
in Saxony. February 19, 1841. • Dr. Jaehnig has filled various 
positions of trust with faithfulness, and places of honor with mod- 
esty. ITe served the city as health officer, 1898-1907, and the state 
as physician to the training school since 1892. The people are 
indebted to him for long and valuable services. 

The practitioners whose lives have been faintly outlined here 
are the pioneers of the profession. They are among the most 
notable makers of history. Special homage should be paid these 
m en — or the memories of these men — for their toil, devotion and 
sacrifice in the rude and eventful days forty or more years ago. 
They were the peers of any in all the useful elements of man- 
hood. They were citizens most relied upon by their neighbors in 
foul as well as fair weather. It would be hard to find a person 
in the county who owes no debt of gratitude to one of these men. 


Many who were presenl at the beginning are at rest. Their 
places have been filled by worthy, though younger, men. 

One of the firsl of the younger practitioners was Dr. Douglas 
Shiley. He came to Red Wing in 1871 ; became t he associate and 
partner of Dr. Sweney, and moved to another field in 1876. 
Another newcomer was Dr. W. <i. \V. Tupper, a native of .Maine, 
who Located in Zumbrota. Subsequently he moved to Wed Wing, 
then to Wabasha, and later hack to Zumbrota, where he died 
about l s !><>. In the early seventies Dr. GaleE Allen, a homeopath, 
and native of Vermont, horn in 1833, established himself in Red 
Wing. He was a well-educated, respectable and successful prac- 
titioner. He died in L900. In 1875, \)v. George C. Wellner, born 
in Bavaria, May 24. 1849, selected Hnl Wing as a field. He twice 
moved to other fields, returning in 1883 and 1893. He is presi- 
dent of the board of health and secretary of the hoard of United 
States examining surgeons. In 1907 he was chosen president of 
the Goodhue County Medical Society. Others who located in 
Red Wing a little later were Dr. John II. Beauford, Dr. F.-Laus 
and Dr. Lund, none of whom continued there long. In I87<i Dr. 
W. M. Sweney. son of the pioneer physician, entered upon the 
practice of medicine in Red Wing. He was born in Marietta, Ul. r 
November 6, 1849. He was in active practice 1 about ten years. 
In 1882 Governor Hubbard appointed him member of the State 
Fish Commission. He has served the city as health officer in vari- 
ous emergencies, and the county as coroner. Dr. Sweney is a 
member of the city council and the board of health, and is earn- 
estly devoted to the service of the city. His favorite study is 
anthropology. In the same year the county received a notable 
accession in Dr. A. T. Conley, who established himself in Cannon 
Falls. He was born in Jefferson county, New York, December 6, 
1847. Dr. Conley is one of the veteran figures of the profession. 
He has a wide repute as a physician and a man, as attested by his 
popularity. His has been a life worthy of emulation, distin- 
guished for sacrifice and service to others. He has served the 
Goodhue County Medical Society as president, and the city of 
Cannon Falls as health officer. In 1877 Dr. George H. Overholt 
settled in Kenyon.' He was born in 1842, and was graduated at 
the Albany Medical College in 1866. In the following year Dr. 
Philo E. Jones, an Ohioan by birth and education, took up his 
residence in Red Wing. He built up a large practice in a short 
time, and maintained the same for fifteen years. Dr. Jones pos- 
sessed culture, an infinite store of information, industry and sur- 
gical and business ability. Dr. William M. Newhall was his able 
associate and partner. About 1880 Dr. H. L. Brynildsen began 
the practice of medicine in Vasa. He was born in Norway, July 
29. 1850, and was for many years a most serviceable practitioner to 


the people of Vasa and vicinity, being highly appreciated by them. 
His usefulness was cut short by death, June 29, 1908. The 
eighties brought to Red Wing a large number of physicians, 
prominent among whom were Drs. M. Magelsen, Peter Mogstad, 
Edward Boeckman, J. F. A. Twetan, J. H. Sandberg, Ed. Hart, 
Noble Jones, 0. J. Brown, George Leininger, E. A. Shannon, H. L. 
Scheide and Drs. Babcock and Simons. Nearly all of them were 
able practitioners, and several of them continued there for years, 
but all have removed from the county or passed away, not, how- 
ever, without leaving behind them the enduring fragrance, of good 
deeds. In 1886 Dr. II. E. Conley permanently established himself 
in Cannon Falls. He was born in Palo, la., July 11, 1855. Dr. 
Conley is a brother of A. T. Conley, and one of the successful 
physicians of the county. He is president of the Goodhue County 
Medical Society. Dr. II. L. MeKinstry came to Zumbrota in 1875 
and to Red Wing in 1888. He is a Pennsylvanian, born June 14, 
1847. Dr. MeKinstry served the Third Regiment, M. N. G., as 
major and surgeon. 1886-1901, and the city as health officer and 
councilman, and in various honorary capacities. Two years later 
Red Wing was chosen as a field by Dr. .1. Y. Anderson, born in 
Sweden, .March 20, 1860. Dr. Anderson is one of the prosperous 
physicians. He is the medical director of the Scandinavian Relief 
Association and a member of the board of United States examin- 
ing surgeons, and lias served the city as health officer. In the 
nineties a number of practitioners located in Red Wing, among 
others Drs. B. Dearborn, V Juell, Th. N. Thoresen, L. L. Mayland 
and Marcus Thrane. They, like their colleagues of an earlier 
date, practiced here for a space of time, then sought other fields. 
In 1893 Dr. F. W. Dimmitt opened an office in Red Wing. He was 
born in Cambridge, 111., August 25, 1859. Dr. Dimmitt found an 
extended field of usefulness, and has built up a lucrative practice. 
He is vice-president of the Goodhue County Medical Society, and 
one of the most ardent promotors of the society's interests. In 
the following year Dr. A. W. Jones, a native Ohioan, born April 
12, 1863, selected Red Wing as a field. Dr. Jones is a well- 
equipped physician, a man of intellectual interests, and a scholar 
of wide range and various cultivation. He is a member of the 
board of United States examining surgeons and a member of the 
board of education. In 1893 the village of Goodhue was chosen 
as a field by Dr. H. P. Sawyer. He was born in 1870. Dr. Sawyer 
has for years had an extensive clientele, and has much endeared 
himself to the community in which he lives. In 1894 Dr. M. W. 
Smith and his wife, Dr. Grace Gardner-Smith, established them- 
selves in Red Wing. Dr. Smith was born in Rockford, 111., Octo- 
ber 27, 1870. He is a member of the board of education and 
countv examiner for the state sanatorium for consumptives. Dr. 


Smith has in various ways proved himself a useful citizen. Dr. 
Graee Gardner-Smith is a native of Pennsylvania. She is physi- 
cian to the girls' department of the state training' school and a 
member of the library board. In 1895 Dr. J. A. Gates, of Kenyon, 
entered upon his successful career as physician, business man, and 
in 1905 as legislator. As a member of the legislature he has 
effectually blocked measures prepared in the interests of quack- 
ery. Dr. Marshall Stephens, a homeopath, located in Red Wing in 
1894. Pie was born near Pittsburg, Penn., in 1840. He was pro- 
fessor of mathematics and natural sciences in Hamline University, 
and served as member of the board of United States examining 
surgeons. In the later nineties, Dr. K. E. Gryttenholm located in 
Zumbrota. He is a native of Norway, born December 6, 1862. 
Dr. Gryttenholm is surgeon to the C, G. W. railway, an able 
practitioner, ever active in medical affairs, and has served the 
Goodhue County Medical Society as president. About 1900 Dr. 
Edward Backe, born in 1862, settled in Kenyon. Dr. Baeke is a 
graduate of the Royal University, Christ iania, a successful prac- 
titioner, and a former president of the Goodhue County Medical 
Society. In 1902 the medical fraternity of Red Wing received 
further accessions. They were: Dr. M." IP. Cremer, born in 
Cashton, Wis., March 12, 1870. and graduated at Rush Medical 
College in 1893, and Dr. L. PL Clay don. born in England, April 5, 
1869, and graduated at the University of Minnesota in 1895. The 
same year Dr. A. E. Johnson commenced practice in Zumbrota, 
and four months later in Red Wing. He was born in Kasson, 
Minn., June 23, 1876, and is a graduate of Rush Medical College, 
of the class of 1902. In 1904 Dr. S. B. Haessly entered upon his 
professional career in Cannon Falls. He was born in Campbells- 
port, Wis., December 25, 1875, and was graduated at the College 
of Physicians and Surgeons. Chicago, in 1904. He came to Red 
Wing in 1909. After graduating at the University of Minnesota 
in 1907, Dr. C. E. Gates located in Goodhue, and became the asso- 
ciate and partner of Dr. H. P. Sawyer. Pie was born in 1879. In 
the same year. Dr. O. O. Larson, born in Rush River, Wis., in 1877, 
and a graduate of the PTniversity of Minnesota in 1907, opened an 
office in Zumbrota. Dr. Larson is the county physician for the 
Zumbrota district. A further addition to the profession in Red 
Wing, in 1907, was made in the arrival of Dr. P. H. Cremer. He 
was born in Wisconsin, March 21, 1878, and was graduated at 
Rush Medical College in 1904. In 1909 he removed to Cannon 
Falls. Early in 1908 Dr. N. L. Werner, born in Diamond Bluff. 
Wis., October 21, 1877, established himself in Red Wing. He is a 
graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Chicago, of 
the class of 1903. Later in the same year Dr. P. J. Weyrens came 
to Red Wing. He was born in Stearns county. Minnesota, March 


12. 1873. and was graduated at the University of Minnesota in 
1900. Other physicians than those named established themselves 
in the county since the beginning of its settlement. They are 
embraced in the Lists following the various points of location. 

Cannon Falls — Drs. Goodwin. AY. Greaves. J. A. Armington, 
Hill. E. L. Hills. K. Frettheim, G. Bjornstad, S. Stringer. Alagnu- 
son. Golberg, \V. B. Jorgerson. Goodhue — Drs. S. E. Howard, 

E. S. Swartout, P. I). Whyte. Kenyon— Drs. A. Brown. A. H. 
Hewitt. Rutherford, Coleman, Turner. Airs. Turner, Wing, 
McDade, Mrs. McDade, R. Leland. Pine Island— Drs. P. R. Weil, 
Holmes, R. < '. Banks. Baker, W. Woodward, Sr., W. Woodward, 
Jr., Bothwell, W. s. Craddoek, E. L. JeweU, C. B. McKaig. Red 
Wing — Drs. A. II. Jones, .Mills. E. C. Bolander, Eliza Paulson, 

F. Keller, F. Delaine. M. Johnson, C. A. Burnett. A. ( '. Clum, 
X. Nelson, < >. Nelson. Swedenburg, 1". < '. Bjorneby. Vasa — Dr. 
Tigerhjelm. Zumbrota- Drs. 0. I. Hall, Slawson, Shattuek, Well- 
come. I). Brainerdj J. C. Cockburn, A. Hirsh, A. Koren, Sedgwick, 
C. AI. Frye, Beebe, J. C. Crewe, T. R. Watson, Courtney, G. C. 

No man. woman or child in this county can be so situated as 
not to be a debtor to one of these men. They are the members of 
a profession which exacts from them the largesl responsibility 
and the greatesl death rate in the world, receiving no rewards 
comparable with the work done or the burdens borne. They are 
the men thai are fighting in behalf of the people against death. 
We need imi begrudge destructive heroes their Fame, but the con- 
structive ones oughl not to be forgotten. The heroism of skill 
and toil belonging to the Latter class is worthy of as grateful 
record. No other men under heaven can do humanity so much 
good as physicians. 

To create a medium for intellectual exchange and to give pro- 
tection to the public and the profession^ the Goodhue County 
Medical Society was founded in 1869. The charter members, so 
far as now known were : Drs. AY. W. Sweney, A. B. Hawley, C. N. 
Hewitt. E. S. Park, F. F. Hoyt. B. Jaehnig, of Red Wing; Charles 
Hill, of Pine Island; Christian J. Gronvold. of Norway; 0. H. 
Hall, of Zumbrota. The official records of the society have, 
unfortunately, not been preserved, and it is now quite impossible 
even to outline its usefulness in its infancy. However, we may 
still be able to impress the reader with the sterling integrity of 
its members, who traveled twenty or thirty miles by team to 
attend these meetings. They had a deep and enduring interest 
in the manifold problems of medicine and a human interest in the 
affairs of their brotherhood and our Great Master's entire family. 
They found that society work was both a direct aid and a stim- 
ulus, and that in a multitude of counsel there is wisdom. The 


meetings were held in Red Wing, Cannon Palls, Norway and 
Zumbrota. In those distant times only advanced aye and illness 
were reasons for members staying away, and then their interests 
did not die oul with the termination of presidential or other 
office. In the seventies and eighties the society added to its mem- 
bership. Its meetings were both well attended and profitable. 
The last meeting the writer attended was at the home of Dr. 
Gronvold, in Norway, in 1SS4. It was an outdoor meeting on a 
beautiful day in July. Every preparation had been made for the 
occasion. The table was se1 under a leafy canopy. The dinner, 
as the saying is. came off triumphantly. It comprised a bound- 
less profusion of everything nutritious in the garb most light and 
digestible for an infirm stomach. The host admirably filled the 
chair, and the post-prandial enjoyments, including the society's 
program, were rarely, or never, svirpassed by any banquet the 
writer ever saw. .Much thai was delectable at the time, and that 
is not unpleasing on reflection now, could he recited, but would 
probably be less interesting to the reader than to the writer. 

"But pleasures are like poppies spread, 

You sei/e the flower, its bloom is dead." 

Flourishing as the society was, its existence was terminated 
in 1891. The causes need not be traced here. They recall no 
divisive memories. The few facts in the possession of the writer 
give no special significance to the event. In October, 1902, the 
society was reorganized at Red Wing. The new organization has 
been strengthened and improved. Its boundaries have been 
pushed forward. It brings medical men more constantly together, 
making consultations more easy and more natural, and stimu- 
lating fraternal feeling. It makes collective and comparative 
experiments possible, furnishing a center in which is focussed the 
"group opinion." Its programs are stronger than before. It 
discusses its problems from time to time with the leaders of the 
profession. It invites joint meetings with other county societies. 
The society has a membership of twenty-three, consisting of the 
following gentlemen: J. V. Anderson, Edmund Backe, A. T. 
Conley, H. E. Conley, M. II. Cremer, P. H. Cremer, F. W. Dimmitt, 
J. A. Gates, C. E. Gates, K. Gryttenholm, C. X. Hewitt. Charles 
Hill, S. B. Haessly. Bruno Jaehnig, A. AY. Jones, 0. 0. Larson, 
H. L. McKinstry, C. B. McKaig, G. H. Overholt, H. P. Sawyer, 
M. W. Smith, George C. YVellner, N. L. Werner. The society con- 
siders all respectable physicians its rightful subjects, and rejects 
all whose so-called education is unaccompanied by any fruits of 
character. The admission of no clean-handed, honorable and 
competent physician is opposed. Membership in the society is a 
guarantee of the physician's good standing, and that he pursues 


a legitimate practice. The mission of the society is to elevate the 
profession to a higher standard for increased public usefulness. 

My friends and brothers in art! A few short years and a new 
generation shall search these pages for the meager record of our 
lives. God grant that it may be said of us that the world was 
better for our having lived. Let us always bear in mind that tht* 
thing that shall comfort us when we step down into the Valley 
of the Shadow will not be the size of the estate we shall leave 
behind, nor the places of honor we have held among men; but, 
rather, the reflection that we have been able to relieve some poor 
sufferer in his mortal pain, that we have been useful men in our 
generation, and thai we may look forward with confidence to the 
reward which awaits a life of honest labor. Grant us an honest 
fame, or grant us none. 

With the opening of the twentieth century the boundaries of 
medical science have been broadened. A radical change between 
the physician and the public is at hand. "Recent events," says 
Presidenl Charles W. Kliot. ''have brought into strong light a 
new function of the medical profession, which is sure to be 
extended and made more effective in the near future. We mean 
the function of leaching the whole population how diseases are 
caused and communicated, and whal are the corresponding means 
of prevention." The great public does not realize that in the 
medical profession the whole line of discovery and effort is 
toward hygienic living as Ihe prevenlive of disease, and that in 
this the doctors are laboring to make the human race immune 
from disease, and willing to teach the people their part in the 
struggle. We are all naturally interested in the' preservation of 
health by the prevention of disease. Most people have a fairly 
distinct idea 1hat proper attention to sanitation is essential to 
good health, but the great majority are not informed of the possi- 
bilities out of which disease may come. When a family stands at 
the grave of a relative who has succumbed to a condition which 
could have been prevented, as has been proven by different action 
in the selfsame condition in other people, a new idea takes pos- 
session of them. This new idea, where the value of prevention 
is more appreciated than the importance of cure, is the ideal 

The tendency of modern research is to give especial promi- 
nence to preventive medicine. To relieve suffering is a godlike 
office, but to prevent suffering is a higher office still. In the past 
the field of medicine was restricted to the relief of disease already 
present, without taking note of its broader and higher mission. 
On the practical assumption that the function of medical skill is 
to cure disease, not to discover and ward off its approach, the 
physician is seldom afforded an opportunity to apply his art 


before the disease das progressed t<><> far. The question of the 
necessity for treatmenl is not decided by the family physician, 
hut by those not qualified to determine the meaning or gravity of 
the symptoms. To recognize disease and apply the remedies for 
it. is to the lay mind, the extent of the physician's office, and is 
all that custom demands. A Large proportion of serious cases 
which come before physicians arc made serious by neglect, and 
the neglect arises from the disease not being recognized in its 
early curable stages. This fact accounts for a large proportion 
of operations that are performed nowadays. The frequency of 
sudden death from unsuspected heart and kidney disease further 
illustrates how seldom the physical condition of a person not 
consciously ill is made the subject of investigation. There are 
few children of school age free from one or more physical ail- 
ments, few adults not afflicted with some chronic disability. All 
this would be guarded against if the family physician were the 
sanitary adviser, having constant supervision of the family, 
instead of being called only when someone has broken a leg or 
one of the children has the croup. So long as a man sees in his 
physician only a feeler of pulses and a writer of prescriptions, 
the relation of medicine to him cannot be expected to improve. 
Today physicians are no longer a group of men and women to 
whom one only looks for a diagnosis and a prescription. They 
have come to recognize the fact that their usefulness as physi- 
cians in dealing with disease problems depends in a great meas- 
ure on the cooperation of the public. They must have intelligent 
cooperation to make their work as effective as it is possible for it 
to be. Prevention of disease is typical of the line in which medi- 
cine as a whole is to have its principal development in the near 
future. Let once the idea be grasped that the physician is engaged 
in preventing disease, instead of waiting for an opportunity to 
cure it — that his mission is a wider one than merely to deal out 
pills or open abscesses, or attend confinements — and men will 
prefer to put themselves under such directions as will tend to 
avert illness, instead of relying upon this or that method of cure 
in case they should become ill. 

A large part of society has ever been against legitimate medi- 
cine, depending upon the scientific physician in time of trouble, 
yet in the interim openly supporting all sorts of shams, frauds 
and impostors. "The horizon of the average man's interest in 
medicine," says Dr. Welch, "scarcely extends beyond the cir- 
cumference of his own body or that of his family, and he meas- 
ures the value of the medical art by its capacity to cure his cold, 
his rheumatism and his dyspepsia, all unconscious, because he 
does not encounter them, of the many perils which medicine has 
removed from his path through life. What does he know of the 


decline of the death rate by one half, and of the increase of the 
expectation of life by ten or twelve years during the past cen- 
tury?' 1 He pays the lawyer for services involving property ten 
times the fee that the physician receives for services involving 
life. Many well-informed people recognize the standing of med- 
ical men, simply because of their knowledge of the immense 
amount and high character of the work which is being done by 
the profession, but millions of men and women of reasonable 
intelligence and education, practically ignorant of this, intrust 
their most valuable possessions — life and health — to charlatans 
and chance, though they would not enter court without a lawyer 
nor build a house without an architect. All of this is due 
to ignorance of modern medicine. The instruction of the laity by 
the medical profession is the rational cure for popular ignorance. 
If the public be properly informed it will become interested, and 
if interested, it will assist. The knowledge of the human body 
and the betterment of physical conditions is too personal not to 
excite interest, if properly presented. The more the public is 
informed on medical matters the greater is its ability to protect 
itself, and the closer it will come to the regular physician, and the- 
higher the standard it will demand. 'We, the medical profes- 
sion, are now in the possession of truths that can help our fellow 
man. Is it not our duty to tell our fellow man?" The answers 
to this question are: the national campaign against tuberculo- 
sis, the bulletins of the boards of health, the medical instruction' 
of the public by county medical societies, by virtue of a resolution 
of the American Medical Association. The medical profession 
has accepted facts that bear on the welfare of the. people, and it 
is its duty to make them known. The time is now at hand for a 
radical change in the relation of the physician to the public at 
large. Medicine can he a power in the world only as it is repre- 
sented by the practitioner. He must no longer be concerned only 
with existing disease, but must take cognizance of the broader 
field which it is the province of medicine to occupy. His new 
duty will be to enter into a copartnership with the people for the 
prevention of disease ; to inform them, according to the measure 
of their needs, concerning a science which so deeply concerns the 
life work, comfort, happiness and mental achievements of every 
individual. He will take up the medical education of the people 
and instruct them how to avoid and abort disease, how to make 
hygiene effective, how to develop physical perfection, and to 
promote mental and moral improvement. 

With the diffusion of this information the voice of the profes- 
sion will be heard in the halls of legislation ; its influence will be 
felt in a virile grasp of the great principles that underlie the 
physical well-being of society. Neglect of public sanitation will 


AFT3"?., I 


George C. Wellnor, M. D. 


cease to fill oui' hospitals and our cemeteries; architecture will no 
longer be the handmaiden of disease; systems of education 
arranged withoul the slightest reference to the laws of mental 
development will be discarded. Questions of health will have 
their weight in determining the relations of capital and labor; 
excessive hours of duty, exacted of those to whose vigilance the 
lives of the traveling public are intrusted, will no more result in 
appalling disasters. Unrestricted traffic in drink will not con- 
tinue to destroy life and health, and to prepare an inheritance of 
disease for offspring yet unborn. Public opinion will cease to 
applaud that abnormal activity in business and social life which 
has already gone far toward making us a nation of invalids." 
"A great duty," says a distinguished president of the American 
Medical Association, "rests on the practitioner today. He must 
not shirk it; he must rise to his new burden, accept, and bear it. 
The reward to the medical profession for taking this new burden 
will be a broader life for the practitioner, a greater consideration 
for his fellow man, better citizenship, and the recognition by the 
world that the medical profession is a great benefactor." 

"To labor for the alleviation of suffering and for the restora- 
tion of health." says Professor John Allan AVyeth, "is a noble 
vocation, but to teach our fellows how to avoid disaster is a 
prouder privilege and higher duty." —George C. Wellner, M. D. 

Dr. George Christian Wellner was born May 24, 1849, near the 
ancient city of Seheinfeld. Middle Franeonia, Bavaria, where the 
family settled prior to 1700. He came to the U. S. in 1857, 
settling in Manitowoc. AVis.. and moving to Chicago in 1862. He 
received his education in the parochial school of the old country, 
the common schools of the U. S., Prof. Geo. W. Quackenbos' Pri- 
vate Academy, and Rush Medical College. He came to Red AVing, 
Minn., in 1875 and located successively in Springfield, Minn., 
1880; Red Wing, 1883; AVabasha, 1885, and Red AVing, 1893. In 
1878 he married Miss Aiargaret S. Hickman. Their children are, 
Emilie M. (Airs. R. A. Haeussler), George C, Berthold B., Giralda 
M., and Aiargaret Al. The doctor has held the following offices : 
Physician to the North Star Dispensary, Chicago, 1875 ; county 
physician. Brown county, Minn., 1880-83 ; member common coun- 
cil and board of education. Springfield, Minn.. 1882; county 
physician, 5th district Goodhue county, Minn., 1884; county 
physician, AVabasha county, Minn., and health officer of AVabasha, 
1890-93 ; secretary board U. S. examining surgeons, AVabasha, 
1886-93 ; assistant surgeon 3rd regiment Al. N. G., 1887 ; president 
AVabasha County Medical society, 1890; secretary board U. S. 
examining surgeons, Red AVing, 1897 to present time; president 
Goodhue County Medical Society, 1906; president board of 
health, Red AVing, 1907 to present time; director 3rd district Alin- 


nesota Association for the Relief and Prevention of Tuberculosis ; 
member of the Goodhue County Medical Society, Minnesota 
State Medical Society, member of the American Medical Asso- 
ciation. Dr. "Wellner is the author of "'The Medical Graduate 
and His Needs," and of the article "The Physician," the latter 
of which appears in this volume. 



Discovery of America — Modern Norwegian Immigration — 
Mathias Pedersen Ringdahl — Early Settlers — Anecdotes — 
Officeholders — Newspapers — Norwegians as Pioneers — Their 
Present Status. 

The Norwegians of today are the descendants of that fearless 
race, the Vikings, who peopled the coast of Norway and swept 
the oceans with their swift craft, venturing to Iceland, then to 
Greenland, and then, it is believed, even to the Atlantic coast of 
North America as far south as Long Island. It is stated that 
Bjarne Herjulfson, while driven about in a storm, sighted the 
coast of Labrador in 986. Erie, the Red. was one of the pioneers 
of Iceland and Greenland, and his son. Lief Ericson, or Leif the 
Lucky, as he was called, was early filled with the spirit of adven- 
ture. In the year 1000, this Leif, with a company of thirty-five 
men, set out from Greenland and started down the North Ameri- 
can coast, landing on the island of Newfoundland and on the 
peninsula of Nova Scotia. Continuing their voyage, they reached 
the vicinity of what is now Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the 
fall of the year. The wild grapes were hanging heavy on the 
vines, and Tyrker, a German, who accompanied the expedition, 
called the place Vineland. Norwegian historians have declared 
that Leif landed and settled near what is now Fall River, Mass. 
Even to the present day, there exists in New England a stone 
tower believed to have been the work of these Norsemen. 

In 1003, Leif's brother, Thorwald, was killed by the savages 
while leading another expedition of Norsemen in about the same 
locality. In 1007 came a larger expedition, headed by Thorfinn 
Karlsefin, who had married Gudrid. a widow of Thorstein, a 
brother of Leif. This expedition consisted of 600 men and pos- 
sibly some women. They landed near what is now Buzzards Bay. 
Three years later this settlement was abandoned, and the party 
sailed back to Greenland with hides and timber. 

In 1847 there probably occurred another attempt, although 
this is less generally believed than the story of the other Norse 



settlements. It has been declared that Columbus visited Iceland 
in early life, and that he was familiar with the story of the 
discovery and settlement of the New England coast by the 

In 1619, a Norseman. Jens Munk, visited America at the head of 
a Danish expedition whose intention it was to take possession of 
a part of the country in the name of the king of Denmark. He 
returned to Norway in 1620, the only survivor of the attempt. 

In 1633, a Norwegian ship builder by the name of Hans Han- 
son Bergen, who had for a time resided in Holland, came to New 
Amsterdam, as New York was then called. It is also believed 
that there were some twenty other Norwegian settlers in that 
early colony. Clans Van Sande, the Indian interpreter of the 
New Amsterdam colony, was a Norwegian. 

July 4, 1825, a party of Norwegian Quakers left Stavanger, 
Norway, and in due time reached New York. What subsequently 
became of this party has never been positively established. In 
1839 a large colony of Norwegians came to Wisconsin. With 
[Ins colony begins the story of modern Norwegian immigration 
to America, although from the settlement at New York down to 
that time there had been here and there individual Norwegians 
who took an active pari in public affairs, notably in the Moravian 
colony at South Bethlehem, Pa. It is possible that several Nor- 
wegians settled in Minnesota in 1851, but the real influx started 
in 1852-53. when Houston and Fillmore counties began to be 

The first Norwegian in Goodhue county was Mat bias Pederson 
(Ringdahl), from Hadeland. Norway, who came to Red Wing 
in the winter of 1852-.)::. He did not, however, found any settle- 
ment. It was in 1854 that the Norwegians settled in two town- 
ships at the same time — Holden and Wanamingo — also occupying 
portions of Leon and later of Minneola. Following is a list of 
some of the early Norwegian settlers: Hans Ovaldsen, from 
Krageroe; Henry and Toege Nelsen Talla, from Lyster, Song; 
William Runningen, from Sandoekedal; Anders Baanhus, from 
Soevde, Telemarken ; John Stroemme ; Anders Hesjedalen and 
Haldor Eive, from Strilelandet ; Tosten Aaby, from Sigdal ; Bernt 
Sauland, from Jaederen ; Torbjoern Wraalstad, from Dramgedal; 
Nils Fenne, Syver Honedal, from Voos; Gunder Hestemyr, from 
Sandoekedal ; Olaf P. Ness, from Vik, Sogn ; Guttorm Otternes, 
from Aurland. Sogn; Mathias Ringdahl, Faaberg; Christian 
Lunde and Andreas Erstad, from Land; Tosten Guldbrandsen, 
from Gudbrandsdalen ; Ola and Aamund Ofteli, from Telemarken; 
Knut, Anders. Ole and H. K. Finseth, from Hallingdal; Jens 
Ottun, 0. J. Sortedal, Kolben Egtveit, 0. 0. Huset, Halvor Ener- 
sen, Torbjoern Enerson, Ole 0. Oakland, Ole J. Bakke, Tosten 


Anderson, Wis Gulbrandsen. As far as is known all these came 
in 1854, most of them from Wisconsin. Next came Svend Nor- 
gaard, from Telemarken; Ola Gunhus, from Kroedsherrad ; 
Christian Halvorsen Dbkken, from Hallingdal; Ragnvald Ohn- 
stad, from Aurland, Sogn ; Ole Eriksen, Elling Halgrimsen, Lars 
N. By ; G. K. Norsving, Ole Nesseth, Erick Anderson ; Nils Mik- 
kelsen, Mickel Johnson, P. N. Langemo, Syvert Halvorsen Dokken, 
Halvor Syvertsen Dokken, Syvert Markussen, Lars Markussen, 
and Helge Gulbrandsen Bakken, from Vang, Valders. The last 
named walked from Decorah, Iowa. 

Mrs. Ole Bakke, the first white woman in Holden, relates that 
one day she left her child lying in its bed and went out to get 
some water, and when she returned the child had disappeared. 
She hurriedly ran out and as she heard the cries from a nearby 
grove, she ran to it as fast as she could. A squaw had stolen 
the child, but when she saw the mother coming she left the 
child and ran away. Mrs. Torbjoern Enersen gave birth to the 
first white child in Holden. Erik Elton died there in the fall 
of 1855. This was the first death in the township. 

The early settlers in Goodhue county were as poor as they 
were able, the worst was that they did not have sufficient clothing 
to withstand the severe cold. But they soon overcame this. Soon 
they began to raise wheat on a large scale. As an example of 
what the first settlers had to endure the following is given : A 
man wdio wished to go to Oronoco, Olmsted county, in the winter 
of 1855 spent the night with Erik Talla and continued his 
journey the following morning. After three days he returned. 
During all this time he had been wandering about on the prairie 
in a blinding snow T storm without knowing where he was and 
without finding people. The following story relating to Indians 
was obtained from Cleng J. Dale: "It was in the year 1852. 
One evening about 7 o'clock there came a warning that the 
Indians were coming and that they were murdering our next 
neighbor and his family. It was difficult to say what to do. 
The thought of saving anything of our possessions we immediately 
gave up. AVe thought it wisest to flee just as we were. With 
our one-year-old daughter, my wife and I went eastward to 
Osmund Wing, who was busy getting his family into a wagon. 
We decided to go in an easterly direction to Torger Rygh, a 
devout old countryman, where people frequently held meetings. 
Here we soon gathered a whole company. The women and chil- 
dren occupied the second story, while the men remained below 
and armed themselves as well as we could with axes, pitch- 
forks; firearms we did not have. Those of the men who were 
the most Viking-like took their places as sentries about the house 
during the night. However, the Indians did not come. In the 


morning we sent out two spies to examine how matters stood in 
our homes. They returned with the report that as far as they 
could see and hear, everything was quiet and our homes were in 
the same order in which we had left them. Then we returned. 
At this time B. J. Muus was pastor of the Holden congregation. 
He removed his family to Red AVing." Mr. Muus, however, 
returned and continued his labors. 

Herman Hansen Bakke, who now lives in Spring Valley, AVis., 
relates that die settled at Belvidere Mills, Goodhue county, in 
1855, and that he had no crops the first five years. Prairie fire 
destroyed them. On one occasion he also lost his tools and every- 
thing else which he owned except his house. 

The pioneer Peter Langemo relates, among other things : "The 
houses in Goodhue county occupied by our fellow countrymen 
were si nail, as a rule 10x]2, but small as they were, they often 
accommodated two or three families. The first year after Min- 
nesota became a Mate a law was passed that the taxes should be 
collected by the town treasurer. Thus it happened in Holden 
that the treasurer and his family lived together with another 
man in the latter- 's log hut, which to all appearances was 
still smaller than the others. So it happened one day that a 
Hailing who lived in the western part of the township came 
to pay his taxes, bu1 he seemed to harbor a fear that he had 
come to the wrong place. After having carefully examined the 
1 1 u I on all sides, he entered and made his observations and asked, 
"Is it here that the high official lives?' The treasurer was Ole 
Solberg, and a Tier an affirmative answer the Hailing paid his tax. 

The Holden congregation was founded in 1856, by Rev. H. A. 
Stub, belonging to the Norwegian synod. Jt was the first Nor- 
wegian congregation in the county. Nevertheless the congrega- 
tion did not have regular service before Rev. B. J. Muus arrived 
in 1859. The church was buill in 1861. 

Hans Hanson Holtan was the first Norwegian in Goodhue 
county to hold a public office, he being elected to the legislature 
in 1857. His brother-in-law, 0. O. Hagna, was the first Nor- 
wegian in the county to hold county office, being elected treasurer 
in 1869. He is still living, and makes his home with his sons 
in Minneapolis. A list of public officers in Goodhue county of 
Norwegian birth or descent follows : Members of the state legis- 
lature — Hans Hansen Holtan, from Naes, Telemarken; Lars K. 
Aaker; A. K. Finseth, of Kenyon, from Hemsedahl. llallingdahl; 
Olaf O. Norvold, of Zumbrota, from Lesje, Gudbranclsdal; 0. J. 
Wing, of Aspelund, parents from Htavanger district; O. K. Nae- 
seth, of Wanamingo. parents from Holden, Skien ; Frederick Pet- 
tersen, Zumbrota. from Ondenhus; Knut K. Finseth. of Kenyon, 
from Hemsedahl; A. A. Flom, of Cannon Falls, from Aurland, 


Sognj (i. K. Norsving, of Nerstrand, from Vang, Valders; X. 
P. Langemo, of Kenyon, from Sandoekedal; X. J. Ottun, of 

Kenyon, from Lystcr, Sogn; Ole P. Hulebaek, of Kenyon. 
from Hausedahl; II. P. Hulebak, of Kenyon, from Hause- 
dahl; Ole O. Huseth, of Norway, from Bolden's; John 
H. Boxrud, of Goodhue, from Eidsvold ; C. L. Brusletten, 

of Kenyon, from Naes. Ilallingdal ; Jens K. Grondahl, of Red 
Wing-, from Eidsvold; A. J. Roekne, of Zumbrota, parents from 
Voss. Treasurer — 0. 0. Hcgna. from Sande, Telemarken. County 
auditor — Carl N. Lien, of Red Wing, ancestors from Vang. Val- 
ders. Clerk of district court — Hans Johnson, of Red Wing; 
Albert Johnson, of Red Wing. Court commissioner — George M. 
Gulbrandsen, of Red Wing. County attorneys — S. J. Nelson, of 
Red Wing; Albert Johnson, of Red Wing. County coroner — A. 
H. Allen, of Red Wing, from Hallingdal. Sheriff — A. F. Ander- 
son, of Red Wing, from Fredricks. (Mr. Anderson lias also been 
county commissioner, state dairy commissioner and presidential 
elector.) County superintendent of schools — Julius Boraas, of 
Red Wing, parents from Stjordalem County commissioners — 0. 
K. X T aeseth, of Wanamingo; A. T. Kjos. of Kenyon. from Vang; 
Ole O. Huset, of Norway, from Trondhjem; O. K. Pinseth, of 
Kenyon, from Hemsedal; T. K. Simmons, of Red Wing. County 
supervisor — Nils G. Nyhagen, of Kenyon. Judge of probate, 
Oscar D. Anderson. Justices of the peace — K. K. Hougo, 
from Hallingdal; Mons S. Urevig, from Aurland, Sogn: A. A. 
Flom. of Cannon Falls; judge of district court. Albert Johnson, 
Red Wing. 

The following places in Goodhue county have Norwegian 
names: Holden, Norway, Totem Eidsvold, Dovre, Sogn, Henning, 
Vang, Nausen, Aspelund, Skyberg. The majority of these post- 
offices have been replaced by the rural free delivery. 

Several Norwegian papers have been published in this county : 
"Budbaereren," the organ of the Hauge's synod, was started 
in 1868, by L. E. Swenson, of Christiana. The first editors were 
the Revs. Oesten Hansen and 0. A. Bergh. It is published weekly 
at Red Wing, has twenty-four two-column pages and has of late 
years been edited alternately by Rev. Christian Brohough and 
C. C. Holter. "Boernevennen," an illustrated Sunday school 
paper, was established in 1877, by C. Lillethun and Rev. Christian 
0. Brohough. The paper belongs to Hauge's synod and is pub- 
lished at Red Wing. "The Little Messenger" is a weekly paper 
for children, published in Red Wing under the auspices of 
Hauge's synod. "Nordstjeren," a w.eekly paper, was started 
in Red Wing in 1895 and was published several years. Jens K. 
Grondahl was the manager and editor. "Broderbaandet." the 
publication of "Brodersamfundet," was issued in 1899 at Ken- 


yon, by Rev. K. 0. Lundeberg, and moved to Wahpeton, X. D., 
in 1903. It is now printed weekly at Minneapolis, Minn. 

Thirty years ago a previous history published an estimate 
of the Norwegians as pioneers. At the time this article was 
written less than two decades and a half had elapsed since the 
settlement in the county, and but few of the children born 
in the township had attained their majority. The article, as 
written at that time, follows: "A large number of inhabitants 
of the county — at least one-fourth — are Norwegian. In the south- 
west part, where the county offers the greatest advantages for 
agricultural purposes, several townships are settled almost exclu- 
sively by them. In this fertile and suitable region they have a 
better chance of having their energy and industry rewarded than 
they had in Norway, where greater exertions were needed merely 
to gain a subsistence, whether as agriculturists on the small, 
stony and steep pieces of cultivated land or as sailors and fish- 
ermen on the surrounding sea. The Norwegians are eminently 
fit to be pioneers of civilization. In their lonely valleys they 
have become more accustomed to live by themselves and to be 
content in their own company than settlers from more densely 
populated countries ; and they do not to the same degree feel 
the want of social advantages, from which the pioneers, to a 
greater or less degree, arc excluded. Self help was, in the old 
country, cultivated to a high degree in regard to the mechanical 
work needed by the farmers. It was often a considerable dis- 
tance to the next neighbor, and the farmers did much of the 
work themselves, where in other places a tradesman was called 
into requisition. Almost everyone could, for instance, do his own 
horseshoeing and other blacksmith work ; thus they were well 
accustomed to the hard work called for in a pioneer country, 
because in their own country they had to work hard to make 
a living, and this rigorous training has made them hardy, strong 
and enduring. As soon as they arrive in this county they com- 
mence working with a good will, and almost universally their 
exertions have been crowned with success. The kind of property 
the Norwegians value the most is landed estate. The first set- 
tlers tried to stretch themselves over as much land as they could, 
occupying land for their relations and friends yet to come, be- 
sides what they claimed for themselves. New land seekers were 
frequently turned off with the' information that all the surround- 
ing land was taken. The boundaries were sometimes so extrava- 
gant that controversies ensued with later arrivals, which on one 
occasion, at least, resolved into blows. This collsion caused the 
'Club Law' — established by some of the oldest settlers for the 
retention of their claims — to be abolished. A battle with clubs, 
axe handles and other weapons was fought at one time on section 


:5<). Wanamingo, with damaging results to more pates than one. 
As soon as tlic claim was secured, work commenced, preparing 
tlic ground for seed, grubbing out the brush and breaking the 
soil. The lodgings were inferior, and for a long time, confined to 
the primitive log hut,. which, however, was solid and warm. As 
the Norwegians care well for their domestic animals, the first 
improvements in the way of buildings are good and substantial 
stables and barns. They do not, for immediate use, build a 
smaller and cheaper structure, but they wait until able to build 
something large and solid, and then, economical as they are, they 
do not shun the expense. 'The best is the cheapest,' is their 
motto. As soon as the Norwegian has a comfortable home, and 
often before, he looks around for more land, and buys of his 
neighbor, if he can ; thus the price of land rises in Norwegian 
neighborhoods so that it often sells for one-fourth more than 
the same quality brings in other parts of the county. Those 
farmers who have been less successful in obtaining for them- 
selves land or property frequently sell out and remove to other 
parts of the country. The Norwegians prefer to build each at 
a distance from the other. Everyone likes to have his own for 
himself, and at a distance from his next neighbor, and to be in 
as large a degree as possible 'Monarch of all he surveys, whose 
rights there are none to dispute.' " 

Thus was it written thirty years ago. Today there are no 
more intensely loyal Americans than the descendants of these 
same Norwegians. Intelligent, educated, progressive, with un- 
swerving devotion to principle, foremost in the ranks of those 
who work for the good of the county, they are often more thor- 
oughly American than the descendants of the Puritans. With 
the ancient Norse ancestry of which to be proud, and a record 
of modern achievement which places them with the leaders of 
twentieth century movements, they have laid their stamp upon 
the county and country, and their sons and brothers are occupy- 
ing positions of trust and honor wherever the United States flag 
is floating at the present time. 



Early Colonies — Coming to Minnesota — Mattson, Willard and 
Norelius — Story of the Early Swedes Told by Dr. Norelius — 
The Churches at Red Wing and Vasa — Reminiscences by 
Early Settlers — Characteristics of the Swedes. 

The first Swedish settlement in the United States dates from 
L638, when there sailed into Delaware bay a man-of-war, the 
Kalmar Nychel, and a smaller vessel, Fogel Grifs. bearing a band 
of Swedish colonists. The voyage had taken over six months, 
owing to terrible si onus, and when the colonists finally arrived 
they were so thankful and delighted that they called the cape 
Paradise Point. They purchased land on the west bank of the 
Delaware bay from the Indians for a fair price. This land 
stretched from Cape Henlopen to the fall near Trenton, taking 
in nearly all the stale of Delaware and a portion of Pennsylvania. 
They immediately built a fortress, which they named Fort Chris- 
tina, in honor of the queen. They called the new state New 
Sweden. Here they remained and prospered, being at peace with 
the Indians, who had learned to trust them on account of their 
fair dealings. They had brought with them from the old home 
the fear of God, their Bible, respect for sacred things and a 
strict observance of the Sabbath. It has been said that no emi- 
grants more closely resemble the Pilgrim Fathers of New England 
in works and faith than the Swedes. Some of these Swedish 
colonists continued to live on the banks of the Delaware, and 
their descendants are today among the most honored citizens of 
America. The man who cast the deciding vote for Pennsylvania 
as a member of the Continental Congress, in favor of the Declara- 
tion of Independence, was a Swede of Delaware, named John 
Morton. AVhen the Civil War broke out General Robert Ander- 
son, with a handful of men. bravely and calmly met the first 
shock of the Rebellion at Fort Sumter. 

The idea of a New Sweden originated in the mind of Gustavus 
Adolphus, but was not carried out until after his death, when 
his chancellor. Axel Oxenstjema, completed the plans. The 



Swedish king had intended the colony to be an asylum for the 
oppressed of all nations, a free state where all would have equal 
rights and where slavery should never exist. Trade between the 
white man and red men was fair and square; they always kept 
their word with the Indian and never cheated him. When 
"William Penn arrived on this continent in 1662 it was the Swedish 
settlers and their children who received him and made him wel- 
come to the new world. They were Penn's interpreters with the 
Indians. Penn did precisely as the Swedes had done, bought 
land of the Indians at a fair price, treated them kindly and kept 
faith. The Swedes had become so prosperous through their 
industry that in 1698 they w r ere able to erect a church of stone, 
and the city of Wilmington has now grown up around its walls. 
This church, known as the "Old Swedes' Church," still stands, 
after nearly 200 years, a fitting monument to the New Sweden 
of Gustavus Adolphus. 

Swedish immigration was not large throughout the colonial 
period. Only about ninety-four people arrived from Sweden in 
the ten years, 1820-30. • Since then it has rapidly increased, but 
it is only in the past fifty years that the influx of Swedish settle- 
ment has been great. 

The first governor of New Sweden was Johan Printz of Vester 
Gotland, who was appointed August 15, 1642, when he was 
knighted. He died in 1683. 

The men of Swedish stock who rendered service in the Rev- 
olutionary and Civil wars are numbered by the thousands. Among 
them are Admiral Dahlgren, General Robert Anderson, General 
Nelson, who was shot in Kentucky, General Stohlbrand, General 
Vegesach, Colonel Hans Mattson, and Colonel Elfiring. Then, 
too, there is John Erickson, the great inventor who planned and 
built the "Monitor," which saved the country from great peril. 
He was born in Sweden, son of a Swedish miner, and lived in a 
miner's hut in the backwoods of Sweden. 

The first Swede to come to Minnesota was Jacob Falstrom, 
who came to the state before 1819. The first Swedish settlement 
in the state was commenced at Marine, Washington county, in 
1850, by Oscar Roos and two other Swedes. 

The first Swede in Goodhue county was Nils Magnus Nilsson, 
known as Nels Nelson and as Dr. Sweney's Nels. He was brought 
from St. Paul by William Freeborn and here spent the remainder 
of his life. He served in the Civil War and spent his declining 
days in a cabin on the island opposite Red W T ing's levee. In 
this cabin he was found dead, and all the old settlers turned out 
to his funeral. 

The influx of Swedish immigration to Goodhue county was 
started bv Colonel Hans Mattson. but was also greatly assisted 


by Dr. E. Norelius and S. J. "Willard. The real beginning of the 
Swedish settlement in this county was in 1854. 

The Swedes have taken an important part in the development 
of Goodhue county and are now numbered among her best citi- 
zens. Their children and grandchildren are thoroughly American 
and are taking the places in official and business life to which 
they are entitled. 

The characteristics of the Swedish people have been admirably 
summed up by Colonel Mattson as follows : 

"Yes, it is verily true that the Scandinavian immigrants, 
from the early colonists of 1638 to the present time, have fur- 
nished strong hands, clear heads and loyal hearts to the republic. 
They have caused the wilderness to blossom like the rose ; they 
have planted schools and churches on the hills and in the valleys; 
they have honestly and ably administered the affairs of town, 
county and state ; they have helped to make wise laws for their 
respeetive commonwealths and in the halls of Congress; they 
have with honor and ability represented their adopted country 
abroad: they have sanctified the American soil by their blood, 
shed in freedom's cause on the battlefields of the Revolutionary 
and Civil wars; and though proud of their Scandinavian ancestry, 
they love America and American institutions as deeply and as 
truly ;is do the descendants of the Pilgrims, the starry emblems 
of liberty meaning as much to them as to any other citizen. 

"Therefore the Scandinavian'-American feels a certain sense 
of ownership in the glorious heritage of American soil, with its 
rivers, lakes, mountains, valleys, woods and prairies, and in all 
its noble institutions ; and he feels that the blessings which he 
enjoys are not his by favor or sufferance, but by right — by moral 
as well as civil right. For he took possession of the wilderness, 
endured the hardships of the pioneer, contributed his full share 
toward the grand results accomplished, and is in mind and heart 
a true and loyal American citizen." 

Dr. Eric Norelius some years ago wrote an account of the 
early Swedish settlement and consequent growth of their colonies, 
which is of deepest interest to all who have considered the 
beginnings of the Swedish influx, which has continued to have 
so important an influence on the life of the county. The contri- 
bution of Dr. Norelius follows : 

"The honor of having first directed the influx of Swedish 
immigration into Goodhue county belongs to Colonel Hans Matt- 
son. He was a young man with a military education, from 
Sweden, and had spent some time in Moline, 111., after his arrival 
in this country. The following is gathered from an article written 
by him in the early part of 1856 and published in 'Hemlandet,'' 
a Swedish paper, then at Galesburg : 


'In the month of September, 1853, I started from Moline 
with a small company of immigrants for Minnesota, in order to 
find a place where we conld commence a colony. Having arrived 
at St. Paul, Minn., some of our party took a contract for some 
work, while I, together with four others, started out to find a 
place for our future home. We were directed to Red Wing, which 
a short time before had been laid out as a village. We were told 
that good land could be had in the neighborhood. We went on 
board a steamboat and made directly for that place. When we 
landed we found the whole bank, where the town now stands, 
covered with Indian tepees, but we did not see more than four 
dwelling houses to prove to us that the people of our race lived 
there. Soon we met several Americans, who received us with 
much hospitality, and when they learned the object of our visit 
they got us a team and a man who was acquainted in the wilder- 
ness to go with us and show us the land. The following day 
we started out, but we did not feel satisfied before we got upon 
the prairie, now known as Vasa. On this prairie we found the 
best of soil and we saw good oak timber in all directions. Now 
we had seen enough, and we went immediately back to St. Paul, 
in order to make ourselves ready to move to our new place. 

' 'It was in the month of October and we expected a cold 
winter. As we considered it impossible at so late a season to 
build houses comfortable enough for the women and children, 
all those who had families resolved to stop at St. Paul over 
the winter. In company with two other men Ave returned to 
make claims for all of us". When we for the second time returned 
to Vasa prairie we were provided with a tent, a stove, some pro- 
visions and some winter tools. After having pitched our tent 
on the bank of the big creek, now Belle creek, in a clump of 
trees, and arranged our romantic camp, we went out to recon- 
noiter the land around about and took several claims. There- 
upon we went about to build a house where we could live during 
the approaching winter. Some weeks after two families of our 
party came down from St. Paul to stay, and during the following 
summer, 1854, we numbered ten families. 

" 'On one occasion, when the Rev. E. Norelius, of Indiana,, 
conducted religious services, a Lutheran church was organized, 
and the settlement received the name of Vasa, in memory of the 
great hero, Gustaf Vasa, who liberated Sweden from foreign 
despotism and brought about the establishment there of the 
Lutheran faith. The name seems to be well chosen, as the 
Swedes at Vasa strive to imitate the great Gustaf and his coadju- 
tors. Before this name was applied the place was known as 
"Swede Prairie," "Mattson's Settlement," and also "White 
Rock," from a big rock of white sandstone somewhat similar in 


form to a small, old church in the old country, situated in the 
southern part of the town.' 

'From the time of Mr. Mattson's account, as above, up to 
1860. a large number of Swedes arrived, partly from Sweden 
direct and partly from the older states of the Union, and filled 
up not only the town of Vasa but also parts of the surrounding 
townships, such as Leon, Cannon Falls. Belle Creek, Goodhue, 
Featherstone. Burnside and Welch. Quite a number settled in 
Red Wing from the beginning of Swedish immigration to Good- 
hue county. The most of them were of the Lutheran profession, 
at least nominally. 

'The organization of the Swedish Lutheran churches at Red 
AVing and Vasa stood in connection with a missionary tour to 
Minnesota, which I made in 1855, in the months of August and 
September, I at that time being pastor of several Swedish 
churches in Tippecanoe and surrounding counties in Indiana. 
From my diary kept at that time I may here transcribe some